Home Modifications: Helping the Elderly Age in Place With Simple Changes

The majority of seniors — 90 percent, in fact — have said that they would like to continue living in their current home as they get older (also known as aging in place). It’s not exactly surprising that most seniors would like to continue living in their home. But, this doesn’t always seem like a possibility, especially when your loved one struggles with health problems or mobility limitations.

The good news, though, is that, if you’re willing to make some home and lifestyle modifications, there’s actually a lot you can do to help your loved one stay in their home. Read on to learn about some simple changes that are great for helping the elderly to age in place.

Benefits of Aging in Place

It’s not hard to understand why most seniors want to age in place. But, did you know that there are actual physical and mental health benefits to them living in their home for as long as possible? Some of the greatest benefits that come from letting a senior age in place include:

  • Improved health and safety (it can be hard to control infections and illnesses in a nursing facility, and overcrowding can limit the amount of care your loved one receives)
  • Maintained independence, which helps seniors to stay positive and maintain a better quality of life
  • Increased comfort (it’s hard to find a nursing facility that is as comfortable as the home in which someone has lived for the last several years – or decades)
  • Easier access to family (family doesn’t have to deal with visiting hours, caps on the number of people who can visit)
  • More alone time, which is great for seniors who don’t particularly want to be surrounded by others at all times
  • Save money, especially if the senior already owns their home and doesn’t have any mortgage expenses

It’s important to note, too, the nursing homes themselves are expensive places. The costs can add up very quickly depending on the length of time your loved one lives there and the level of care and attention they require. If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution that helps to maintain your loved one’s morale, a better option in most cases is to work on modifying their current home to accommodate their needs.

Helping the Elderly Age in Place: Where to Begin?

Are you interested in modifying your loved one’s home to make it more senior-friendly? Are you unsure of where to begin? Start by making some of these simple changes:

Have Essentials Delivered

If your loved one is struggling with poor health or limited mobility, one of the best things you can do is to have their essential items delivered for them. This includes groceries and prescription refills. If they’re not tech-savvy, you can order their groceries online for them once a week and have them delivered to the door. You can also use an online pharmacy to take care of prescription refills and deliveries.

Invest in Senior Home Care

In addition to making sure their prescriptions are re-filled on time, you may also need to invest in some other services to ensure all your loved one’s needs are met. For example, you might need to hire a senior home care service to come in and take care of everyday tasks like laundry, medication reminders, and transportation. Some senior care services also handle things like bathing, house cleaning, and meal preparation.

Prepare for Emergencies

Even if your loved one doesn’t have any mobility limitations right now, there’s still a possibility that he or she could trip and fall while at home. It’s important to prepare for this now so that, in the event that a fall does happen, they can get the help they need as soon as possible. A personal emergency response system is a great tool that gives seniors immediate access to emergency personnel in the event that they fall or another emergency occurs. Purchase one for your loved one and teach them how to use it so they’re able to get help right when they need it.

Make Sure Their Emotional Needs are Met

Don’t forget to prioritize your loved one’s emotional needs, too. This includes making sure they’re able to socialize regularly — with family or with friends — and helping them to continue participating in hobbies they enjoy, both inside and outside of the house.

Adapt the Bathroom

If your loved one is going to age in place, you’ll likely need to make some changes to the main rooms in the house, including the bathroom.In order to make the bathroom more senior-friendly, consider investing in tools like an elevated toilet seat and non-slip mats for the shower or bathtub. You might also want to install railings near the toilet and bathtub to reduce the risk of slipping and falling.

Make Sure the Bedroom Is Safe

It’s also important to take precautions to keep the bedroom safe. Installing railings by the bed can be very helpful in preventing falls when your loved one is getting in and out of bed. You might want to invest in a bed rail, too, to help them avoid falling out of the bed at night.

Assess the Situation on a Regular Basis

Finally, be prepared to assess your loved one’s situation on a regular basis. Sit down with them every few months and find out how they’re doing and whether they’re having any challenges. You might need to talk to their home care aid, too, to get a better idea of their struggles and what you can do help.

Learn More About Senior Care Services

As you can see, there are lots of ways you can go about helping the elderly age in place. One of the best tools you can utilize is a senior home care service. With this service, your loved one will be able to maintain their independence while still getting the care and medical attention they need to stay healthy. Do you want to learn more about senior care services? If you live in the Northeast Ohio area, contact us today at Bridgewater Senior Home Care to learn more about what we have to offer your loved one.