As people age, it can be harder to live in the same home that they’ve been enjoying for decades. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to move out immediately. If your parents are getting older and facing some of the difficulties that can come with that, there are a few things you might want to do. Before choosing some kind of facility or different home entirely, consider how you can help make their current living situation more accessible and comfortable for the long run.
Over the years, general clutter can pile up in some areas of the home. This is a natural part of living in one home for decades. However, it can exacerbate things like mobility issues if left unchecked. You don’t necessarily have to get rid of things that might seem like clutter to you, but reorganizing them into spaces that don’t obstruct your parents’ movement could help. In addition to clutter, take a look at things like rugs or cords that could be tripping hazards. Should your parent be in a wheelchair either some or all of the time, it is also important that there be wide paths that they can take to get to every area of their house.
Some older folks choose to move into a house that doesn’t have any stairs. It’s an option that gives them a smaller, more accessible space. However, you can address the stair issue with modern technology instead. Many companies offer stair lifts that give people with mobility problems some of their independence back. It doesn’t take a lot of work to modify the home to accept these lifts, and the controls are simple and easy for anyone to use effectively. If you notice that your parents avoid going upstairs, it could be a sign that a lift would benefit them.
Ordinary activities like bathing could become a bit more difficult in the home as your parents age. To combat this issue, you should consider retrofitting parts of that area to make it easier for them to use. Things like grab bars near the toilet and in the shower can help them maintain their balance and mitigate the risk of falls. If the shower is inside a tub, you might consider installing a walk-in shower that is easier to navigate. You could also put a stool in the bath to make it simpler to get in and out of it.
Aging can make people feel a bit disconnected from others, even if they still have someone there living with them. If your parents are not familiar with modern communication programs, you could consider setting them up with a computer and some chat programs. Show them how to access the web to stay informed, look at exercise activities they can follow online, and chat with relatives and loved ones.
If you come across any issues your parents might be facing due to age, there may be no need for panic. Instead of stressing about the situation, turn that energy into an action plan for making life easier on them. Do some checks around the home, assess their safety needs or concerns, and use some of the tips here to take the next steps.