As we get older, so do our parents. It’s quite likely that your elderly parents will need a helping hand at some point and if you are one of the 40% of families in the UK looking after a parent or grandparent, you need to be prepared. The average home is not necessarily equipped to be accessible to the elderly.
If you do choose to look after an elderly parent in your home, there are a few things to consider.
Being able to get into the house is important. Not everyone is comfortable with stairs and you may need to install mobility aids around the home and consider a homelift so the environment is safer and easier to access. If your parent has problems with dementia or forgetfulness, you may also wish to add a door alarm to prevent them from slipping away without your noticing.
One of the most dangerous spaces in the home is the bathroom. It can be host to a number of accidents for anyone in the family, but when someone is older and a little unsteady, it can be even more dangerous. There are a few ways to make your bathroom more friendly for your elderly parent, including adding grab rails and ensuring there is a seat in the bathroom. Why not replace your shower with a wet room, they look stylish and are so adaptive for wheelchair or walking aids? Also, consider a walk-in baths really works well for those who still want to enjoy a nice bath or need to soak due to skin conditions and they can be adapted with powered seats, combination showers with safe thermostatic controls preventing burns.
Stairs can be troublesome, so it may be best to set up a bedroom for anyone older in your home on the lower floor. This lets them easily reach their own space without having to climb stairs. If you would prefer or need to have a bedroom on the first or second floor of your home, not a problem, you may wish to invest in a home lift/elevator to make it simpler to reach the other floors in the home.
Doors should have easy to use handles, preferably lever handles. It’s also important that doorways are wide enough for a walker, wheelchair, or other mobility aid. It may take some adaptation, but your home can be elderly-friendly with a few changes. Ensure that your parent’s bedroom and the bathroom are easy to use and safe first, then you can work on the rest of the home.
If you would like just advice on a new easy-access bathroom or to arrange a free home survey with a local Bespoke Bathing representative, then please call our team between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0800 1695 526 or email us for a brochure here.
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