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Tips for making homes safe for aging parents

Watching your parents age can prove tremendously difficult, and you may find that your own wishes as far as your parents’ long-term care differ from what they want for themselves. For example, you may feel your mom or dad is better off in a residential care facility where she or he has staff members to help get around, prepare food and otherwise care for him or herself. However, your parents may wish to try to remain in their own home for as long as possible, because many older people understandably struggle with giving up some of their independence.

If one of your parents decides he or she wants to stay in her or his own home while aging, there are certain steps you may want to consider taking to make the home environment a safer one. More specifically, if you are trying to make a home safer for your aging parents, consider these steps.

Adapting it for use by older residents

You can make any number of efforts if you wish to adapt a home for an aging parent, but the exact steps you likely want to take will vary based on your parent’s current physical or mental condition. You may, however, want to consider purchasing a walk-in bathtub or frame-less walk-in shower, for example. Or you may decide to add a raised toilet seat to your loved one’s bathroom to enhance safety, among other possible accommodations.

Making simple environmental changes

Certain environmental factors, such as loose wires or carpeting, can pose a more serious threat to older people than they do younger ones, who can typically easily spot and avoid such obstructions. Removing throw rugs, applying non-slip wax to stairs and adding railings in hallways are all steps you can take to make the home environment safer.

While these are some of the initial steps you may want to take to modify a home for an aging parent, there are numerous other efforts you can make to enhance safety. You may also want to consider hiring someone to stop by and assist your parent periodically if unable to do so yourself.

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