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Preparing A Soft Landing For A Senior Loved One

Our friend Karen from has written us another helpful blog to share with you!

Growing older challenges our minds and bodies, and as a result, a loss in mobility and independence can develop. When a senior you care about needs to come into your home, changes are often necessary to ensure their safety.  Read on for advice on preparing a soft landing for your aging loved one.

Evaluate your environment

We normally associate safety and security with our home environment; however, traditional homes can be fraught with hazards for seniors. It’s crucial to take a hard look at your living space to ensure you make appropriate changes. You might want to use an app for a thorough home evaluation, or use a printable checklist. You should also consider your senior’s specific capabilities and needs. There is a wide variety of options that can be tailored to meet your circumstances.

You’ll also need to decide how much space your home has for your loved one’s belongings.  A crowded environment can increase the risk of falling incidents, so only make room for the items that will fit.  Determine what will need to be put into storage, and then research nearby units. Though prices will vary in your area, you’ll likely find good deals for your budget.

Something to hang onto

While every situation is unique, there are some home modifications that are widely useful in keeping older adults safe and independent. Slips and falls are a major concern for seniors, so prevention is a first priority. With that in mind, consider installing grab bars in risky areas like bathrooms. Grab bar installation can be an effective help, and in fact, some studies indicate properly installed grab bars can be instrumental in keeping older adults safe.  One thing that holds many homeowners back is aesthetics, but thankfully, these days there are designs that are just as attractive as they are functional, blending with decor without looking institutional.

Bright and even

As Daily Caring explains, a simple adjustment to help a senior navigate a home environment is improved lighting. Aging eyes don’t adjust to changes in brightness as quickly as younger eyes do, so adding lights to areas where they might go from a bright space to a dark space is a boon.  Think about supplemental fixtures in hallways, stairways and landings, and entryways.

Accessible entryway

Coming and going from the home can be difficult for aging loved ones, especially if steps are involved.  For many homeowners, a ramp is the best solution, and options abound.  Materials range from landscape banking to sloped concrete to pavers, and of course, there are the traditional options of wood or metal.  There are several ways to incorporate a ramp into the home’s facade, and homeowners often find it’s a plus for not only aging friends and relatives, but also when pushing strollers and moving furniture.

One-floor living space

Stair navigation can be particularly troublesome for older adults, so consider an arrangement for one-floor living.  Some homes have bonus rooms that can be converted into bedrooms, or you might even convert a garage into a bedroom.  Sometimes a powder room just needs a shower added to make it work.  Ideally, shower areas will be curbless, incorporate a seat, and have non-slip tiles.  Think outside the box when it comes to setting up a one-floor arrangement.

Bringing an aging loved one into your home can be challenging, and an environment you normally think of as safe can actually be dangerous for an older person.  Look at your environment with a critical eye and make changes with your particular circumstances in mind.  Oftentimes a handful of well-thought-out modifications can turn a hazardous home into a soft landing for senior loved ones.

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