Make Your Home Safe For Elders
The vulnerability to falls and slips increases with age. Enhancing our living spaces with basic amenities cannot just offer safety and easy access to basic facilities for the elderly at home but also make your home accessible to people with temporary injuries, children, and even pregnant women. It’s certainly not an exaggeration that having an accessible home can change one’s life.
Accessible Family Toilets
Bathroom accidents are reported frequently due to slippery floors and lack of support, and the elderly are more susceptible to injuries. Therefore, bathrooms are considered one of the most vulnerable spaces for people with reduced mobility, making it necessary to rebuild or construct accessible toilets in your home. An accessible family toilet is a specialized facility to meet everyone’s needs. Have a bathroom with key features such as handrails, grab bars, emergency bells, anti-skid flooring, and western-style seating. Additionally, wider gates for unrestricted movement can conveniently accommodate and help the elderly navigate their way while entering and exiting the restroom.
The narrower the pathway, the more difficult it gets to pass through. Suppose someone at your home uses a wheelchair or a walking aid. In that case, it’s practical to incorporate essential modifications to eliminate barriers and obstructions. Some wheelchair-friendly changes such as making doors and entryways wider, providing adequate seating space for a wheelchair user on the dining table, building accessible kitchens, and providing sufficient room in the house to maneuver wheelchairs, among others can create a barrier-free and inclusive environment for them. Additionally, avoid using carpets and rugs on the floor since they can obstruct the movement of wheelchairs or increase the chances of someone tripping and falling.
If you live in an independent house, consider installing a ramp at the entrance next to the steps. Installing a sturdy ramp with handrails is ideal. However, please note that a ramp without a handrail is hazardous as with no support to hold onto, it can cause falls and injuries. Common issues such as Osteoarthritis can make it difficult for senior citizens to climb stairs. Therefore, one should also consider installing a lift in the house. Additionally, one can also get a consultation from the architects or contractors for future provisions in the structure specific to their homes.
One needs to also take care of the visual comfort of elderly individuals with impaired vision as a priority. Ensuring the entire house is equipped with sufficient lighting makes it easier for the elderly to move around without feeling dizzy or being obstructed by furniture or any object. This will reduce the risk of falling and injuries. The natural light also creates a positive environment. Large windows, switchboards at convenient places, motion sensor lights and other such ideas make a huge difference.
A thoughtful consideration must be given while designing the kitchen space. This can include a layout having proper accessibility measures, which provides appliance placement for easy access and lower countertops and sinks to facilitate comfortable reach. Installation of pull-out shelves and drawers can eliminate the need for excessive bending or stretching.
Turning your homes into accessible spaces may take time, investment, and planning. However, accessible homes will allow the elderly to move independently, regardless of mobility challenges. The correct physical modifications will bring emotional well-being and a sense of security in their daily lives. Notably, the accessibility features that the elderly family members benefit from will also help other members in the house, like children, temporarily injured, and pregnant women. Plus, we all are ageing; hence, building a home accessible now is making your house future ready for yourself and for the coming generations. (IANS)