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Elderly-friendly home: 5 ways to create a safe, accessible and comfortable living space

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Making your home elderly-friendly ensures that older individuals can live comfortably and safely in their own homes for as long as possible, especially for those receiving aged care services.  

Several modifications and adjustments to make a home more conducive include these elderly-friendly tips: 

  1. Prioritise accessibility
  2. Make use of technology
  3. Add additional lighting
  4. Safety first always
  5. Personal preferences and needs  

Prioritise accessibility

Common limitations for older individuals are dependent on mobility issues such as access to certain areas at home or even navigating the stairs. 

  1. Look for potential tripping hazards such as loose rugs, electrical cords, and uneven surfaces, and take steps to remove or secure them. This can help prevent falls, which are a common cause of injury among the elderly.
  2. Installing handrails and grab bars in key areas such as hallways, bathrooms, and stairs can provide additional support and stability.
  3. Non-slip flooring can help reduce the risk of falls, especially in wet areas such as the bathroom.
  4. Place frequently used items such as medications, phones, and emergency numbers in an easily accessible location. Consider using organizers or storage solutions to keep items organised and easy to find.  

Make use of technology

There is a range of assistive technologies available that can help perform tasks more easily and safely. This can include devices such as automated medication dispensers, voice-activated assistants, and wearable devices for fall detection.  

An article from Monash University Getting Smart: Seniors see the benefits of technology in the home highlights the increasing adoption of technology among older adults and its potential benefits in enhancing their quality of life. 

The takeaway from the article is that technology can greatly improve the quality of life for older adults, but it is important to consider individual needs and provide proper support and training to ensure successful adoption.

Read also: How to make the transition from Home Care to Retirement Home smooth and stress-free

Add additional lighting

As we age, our eyesight naturally begins to deteriorate, which can make it difficult to see in low-light conditions. Adding more lighting throughout the home, particularly in areas such as stairways and bathrooms, can help to improve visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.  

Safety first always

According to the Department of Health, ensuring safety should always be a top priority when making an elderly home friendly. 

Older individuals may be at an increased risk of accidents and injuries, so it is important to equip the home with safety features such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and emergency call systems.  

It is also recommended to properly store medications and eliminate any potential hazards, such as sharp objects or exposed electrical outlets, to maintain a safe living environment.  

Personal preferences and needs

While there are certain universal modifications that can improve the accessibility and safety of a home for older adults, it’s also important to consider the individual’s specific needs and preferences. This would allow a home that is tailored to their unique needs and allows them to live comfortably and safely. 

Creating an elderly-friendly home requires modifications to enhance accessibility, lighting, safety and accommodate personal preferences.  

You can ensure that your loved ones can live comfortably and safely in their own homes for as long as possible by implementing these safety measures. 

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