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Simple Ways To Make Your Elderly Relatives’ Home More Accessible

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As relatives age, even family homes can present challenges in getting around comfortably and safely. By making smart modifications focused on ease of access, you can adapt their space to support independence and accommodate changing physical abilities.

Here are straightforward tips for increasing accessibility.

Improve Lighting

Ageing eyes need more help than they used to. Maximise ambient light with fixtures aimed at reducing glare. Increase the wattage in existing fixtures. Add sleek recessed ‘cans’ to brighten rooms generally. Install under-cabinet lighting in kitchens. Ensure adequate lighting in stairways with switches on top and bottom. Outdoor lighting improves safety too.

Make Floors Skid-Resistant

Replace slippery rugs and floors with grippy, skid-resistant materials. Choose textures with some traction like vinyl plank, cork, bamboo, textured microfibre carpet, wood-look porcelain tile, or low-pile rug. Add non-slip mats and grippy adhesive treads on stairs. Shine floors to avoid puddles and spills becoming slippery. Proper footwear helps too.

De-clutter and Organise

De-clutter by eliminating unnecessary furniture and items. Then, organise essentials conveniently within reach. Place commonly used items in easily accessible spots like countertops, eye-level cabinets, and closets near the bedroom. Store infrequently used items up high or down low. A de-cluttered, organised home prevents searching, bending, climbing, and tripping hazards.

Install Grab Bars and Railings

Grab bars, railings, and bannisters provide stability in navigating between rooms, bathrooms, and stairways. Mount bars near toilets, showers, baths and anywhere balance assistance may help. Sturdy wooden railing becomes part of the decor. Proper installation ensures safe use.

Use Heights to Your Advantage

Adjust work and living areas to appropriate heights for each individual. A slightly elevated toilet, raised shower floor, or vanity lowered a few inches eases use significantly. Seat heights around 18-20 inches suit those with mobility limitations best. Countertops at 34-36 inches high allow comfortable prep. Adjustable furniture accommodates changing needs.

Easier Door Handles Don’t Have To Be An Eyesore

Replace round knobs with easy-grip lever handle door openers and pulls. Seek contrasting finishes that distinguish handles from doors for the visually impaired. Classic styles like porcelain, bronze, and black work everywhere. Door hardware looks stylish while improving accessibility. This collection of door furniture from Corston can give you a lot of inspiration for ways that you can keep the home feeling elegant and classy without sacrificing anyone’s safety. Visit their site to find a lot more home décor inspiration.

Install a Walk-In Shower

Swap out baths for curb-less or low-threshold walk-in showers with fold-down seats. Look for anti-scald digital temperature controls. Adjustable handheld showerheads make washing accessible. Grab bars provide stability and support getting in and out. Non-slip tile prevents falls. A walk-in shower makes self-bathing safer and more comfortable.

Use Ramps Over Steps

Temporary or permanent ramps provide easy access to bypassing stairs. Wide designs allow walkers and wheelchairs room. Limit ramp length and angle of incline for manageable use. A ramp width of at least 4 feet works well. Outdoor ramps need a non-slip surface. Follow codes for proper railing height and materials. Ramp kits make installation uncomplicated.

Widen Doorways

Doors less than 32 inches wide limit mobility aid access. Removing doors and walls to widen openings helps tremendously if feasible. If not, consider pocket doors, bifold doors, or swinging doors that increase usable clearance. Just widening the swinging arc of existing doors adds a couple of inches. Proper clearance width removes physical barriers.

Add a Main Floor Bathroom

Relocating laundry and installing a half or full bath on the main level eliminates using stairs for bathroom needs. Situate the main floor bath near living spaces and bedrooms. Include ample room for mobility devices plus grab bars, a raised toilet, a low threshold shower, and easy access shower controls. A main floor bath provides convenience, privacy, and accessibility.

Rearrange Furniture

Creating ample open space for moving between furniture prevents bumps and falls. Position furniture away from doorways. Place low furniture with no sharp corners in high-traffic areas. Remove unstable lightweight tables and decor. Have sturdy, armless chairs and sofas for easy sitting and standing. Keep pathways clear throughout the home.

Install A Medical Alert System

Medical alert systems provide a button to press in an emergency that contacts emergency services. Systems give peace of mind to older adults living independently. Look for waterproof buttons usable anywhere in the home and yard. Some systems detect falls automatically. Alert systems keep help within easy reach 24/7 if needed.

Improve Acoustics

Hearing loss makes conditions like excessive echo or ambient noise frustrating. Upgrade to quieter appliances and fixtures. Install acoustic panelling or ceiling tiles to absorb sound. Use furnishings like curtains, rugs, and upholstered furniture to dampen echoes. Position seating near speakers during gatherings. A calmer acoustic environment aids communication.

Install Voice-Controlled Technology

Voice-activated smart home technology like Alexa allows controlling lights, temperature, security, and more hands-free. Phone apps can make a huge difference too. Voice controls reduce reliance on complex interfaces. Connect video doorbells and smart displays to screen visitors or see and converse with visitors at the door without getting up.

Adapting your home to be more accessible doesn’t have to be difficult or detract from attractive design. Even small improvements meaningfully support safer independence and quality of life.

Image https://unsplash.com/plus/license

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