Home Accessibility Modification for Seniors
There a number of modifications you can make to your home to make it safer to live in.
If you’re living with a senior with mobility restrictions, then a home modification could be a great alternative to consider. Carers typically opt to make changes to their home to ensure their loved ones are safe, comfortable, and can move around better.
However, a lack of knowledge on how to modify a home can result in many uncertainties for carers. The truth is, modifying your home doesn’t have to be a big, lengthy job. In this article, we’ll look at the importance of home modification, and how you can get started in making your home safer for your loved one.
Adapting your home to your loved one doesn’t just provide them with a favourable retired living condition; it helps keep them safe from falls. According to a 2021 study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, people above 65 are more likely to risk hospitalisation or death due to a fall. Besides that, 59% of ‘fall hospitalisations’ were from those over 65.
Falls are a major health issue in the community, and preventative steps should be taken to reduce any serious harm to your loved one. From small changes like adding shower rails, or bigger ones like changing your floors, there are many ways that you can help make your home safer.
Stairs can be a big (and dangerous!) challenge for seniors with mobility issues. Luckily, technology has enabled seniors to go up and down stairs hassle-free – using a chairlift.
Also known as stairlifts, these mobility equipment help a person travel incline up the stairs by a carriage or chair that’s mounted to a wall rail. Depending on the nature of the stairs in your home, there are many different types of chairlift systems. Some chairlifts can even carry wheelchairs if your senior is in one.
However, assembling chairlifts is a big job, and it should be done by professional installers who know the product well to avoid any injuries.
Ramps are ideal for helping seniors in wheelchairs navigate unlevelled places in the home and get into cars and curbs. When choosing a ramp, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a ramp, such as the material, size, and layout.
Ideally, a ramp should create the most gradual slope for your senior, and it should also be able to accommodate the width of the wheelchair. There are many foldable ramps in the market you can consider that are accessible and convenient to carry around.
Shower rails and grab bars are another great way to modify homes for safety. Bathrooms are an underrated hazard for seniors, with plenty of slippery surfaces and wet floors. So grab bars help your seniors retain their balance by grabbing onto the rails for support.
Try opting for mounted grab bars and rails instead of suction ones when installing these items in your bathroom, as mounted bars are much sturdier and suitable for everyday use. You could also install multiple shower rails at various points in the bathroom to fully support your loved one.
To ensure your home’s flooring is safe, consider adding non-slip mats in slippery areas. Placing these mats in places such as your bathroom can significantly reduce the risk of falls and provide for a more stable, slip-free surface.
Carers who prefer a longer-term solution can also consider renovating their floors with slip-resistant flooring. Materials such as carpets and rubber are high in anti-slip properties, which gives your senior a safer surface to walk in. However, changing the flooring of the entire home may be an expensive endeavour.
Paying for home modifications can be overwhelming. However, there are government assistance and grants that can help subsidise these costs. Additionally, a home care package can sometimes pay for home modifications when needed.
CareAbout helps carers navigate various care options and find the right services at the appropriate budget. For experienced help in utilising your home care package, contact our team for a personalised discussion and arrangement.