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Adapting your home

Staying in a familiar environment such as their own home can be extremely important to our parents as they get older. To allow them to do this safely some minor adaptations may be required. It is important to preserve and strengthen their capabilities rather than focus on coping with any limitations or disabilities your parent may have.

Always ensure you involve your parent throughout the process and help them recognise the need for themselves, after all, it is their home.

Areas to focus on and consider:

  • Self-sufficiency
  • Mobility
  • Safety
  • Security
  • Comfort/convenience

Being self-sufficient can be hard when you worry or feel scared. As much as your parent wants to stay at home, they may feel unsafe in their house by themselves. Here are some ways you can make their home more secure to reduce their worries.

  • Consider an alarm system. This is a great way to make anyone feel more secure and help them sleep easier.
  • Personal alarms provide added reassurance that help is at hand when it’s needed while enabling an independent lifestyle.AdobeStock 74404043 Copy
  • Make access easy. Consider grab bars for stairs, beside the bathtub and toilet. Bolted rails are a much safer option than rails secured by suction cups, which themselves are prone to slipping.
  • Make the bathroom a safe place. With the combination of a linoleum floor and moisture, slippery surfaces are inevitable.  Padded bathroom floor mats are a great alternative as they provide a soft surface to land on if a fall does happen.
  • Grab bars are an easy win for added safety next to the toilet and bath.
  • Create light in the most lived in room. Not only does this create safety but is also a great source of Vitamin D.  If curtains are heavy and hard to open, replace them with blinds, and maybe consider remote control blinds to allow the light in.
  • Reduce clutter to prevent unnecessary falls. It’s so easy for the familiar to become trip hazards.  Loose mats and rugs should be secured or removed.  Rearrange furniture so that there are clear paths between rooms

Useful links

 Telecare 24: The UKs leading careline service specialising in easy to use personal alarms.

Unforgettable: An online shop for life-changing products and gifts.

NHS: This dedicated site on the NHS website details household gadgets and equipment to make life easier.