Looking after the elderly is not without its share of challenges. The changes to an older body make certain tasks difficult. To this end, it’s important to know how you can improve the home to help improve their lives, granting them that all important sense of freedom and independence.
Whether it is about understanding the importance of space, walk in baths or a social life, there are various ways you can enhance their life and keep them safe at the same time.
This doesn't necessarily specifically relate to anyone living with you, either. We often have older family members, such as parents and grandparents, who live outside of our home. In these cases, it’s often important to keep an eye on their living arrangements. If they aren't suitable, some of the suggestions here may be just as useful.
A Sense of Space
First of all, it’s important to understand that elderly family members often face different mobility needs to others. To meet this, you need to ensure open space where possible. Tight spaces and obstacles only pose as health risks. There should be clear corridors and walkways, with open rooms with space to reach everything.
Mobility and the Bathroom
The mobility needs already discussed are just as important in the bathroom. This is a crucial area, where people tend to be alone. As such, in addition to the added risk of slippery surfaces, it’s important to have safe facilities.
Walk-in baths or showers are perfect for this, since they allow you to simply walk in. A lot of the hazards involved in such facilities are from having to strain to get in and out. A walk in option naturally circumvents this. Not only will such vulnerable members of your family be safe, you can also relax without having to worry every time they take a bath. Again, this all adds to building a strong sense of independence and freedom.
An Active Social Life
Finally, whilst it’s critical to address many home issues, it’s also important to encourage an active social life. Elderly citizens can often fall into the trap of staying at home. In family situations, this can be troublesome as it may create stress in the home. Elderly citizens need to get out as much as anyone else.
There are countless options available, with the likes of senior citizen's passes and offers making a lot of activities cheaper and free. Encouraging this is recommended, as it will also allow them to meet like minded and similarly matched people. Family and a home life are important, but the need for friends is just as crucial for a well rounded life.
In summary, this is only a short run through of some of the challenges you might face, but it should hopefully show some of the easy solutions. These are situations faced by many families over the years, so fortunately some simple solutions have been found over this time.
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