Seniors are spending more of their retirement years in their own homes. Only those who can no longer live on their own are relocating to nursing homes. If your senior loved one plan on doing the same, then it is only necessary that you start helping them modify their home to better suit their needs. They might need your help in finding the right contractors, and think of the best projects to tackle. You can also help them tackle home improvements without breaking the bank.
Tackle Necessary Repairs and Maintenance First
Before you start, one must consider the current needs and situation of your loved one. This way, it will be easier for you to determine which projects will best suit their needs.
Do they need new sets of furniture like a round dining table to avoid bumps and bruises or a lift recliner to help them rest better and to make it easier to get in or out of a chair? Or maybe they just need new appliances, better lighting, or help in maintaining the house? Once you’ve done a bit of research, you can start helping with the home modification.
Before you start with any project, make sure their home is still safe for a senior to live in. List down all the necessary maintenance and repairs and prioritize them accordingly. This will give you an idea of which areas of the house you need to work on the soonest time possible.
Take Advantage of Grants for Seniors
Elderly adults can take advantage of different federal grants and funding that aims to help seniors do necessary home repairs. These are free assistance programs for seniors with little-to-no income at all and can’t afford to make improvements necessary for a safe senior home. There are also state grants unique to each state. Some offer Home Energy Assistance Programs that help seniors pay for heating and cooling costs. Others offer low-cost earthquake insurance for older homes.
If your elderly loved one’s doctor prescribed them with hanging bars and seat lifts, you can check with Medicare. They help seniors that need minor modifications or assistance. If your senior loved one is renting, they can leverage on rental help programs. The HUD or Department of Housing and Urban Development offers this supportive help to seniors.
Choose Eco-friendly Upgrades
When improving your senior loved one’s home, you want to make their lives easier with the help of eco-friendly upgrades. These typically last longer, use much less water and electricity, and can reduce your senior loved one’s energy bills. Your investment will eventually pay off in the long run.
There are upgrades perfect for seniors due to their simplicity and safer features. For instance, if your aging loved one often forgets the kettle on, you can choose a cordless kettle that automatically turns off. You can choose a top-loading clothes washer so they won’t need to bend when washing clothes. It might also be best to upgrade their floorings to “softer” floors like cork, vinyl, or linoleum.
Replace Old Fixtures and Hardware with Senior-friendly Ones
Old houses often have fixtures that are hard for seniors to use. Think of old lamp switches, round doorknobs, and even ordinary faucets. Their grip may no longer be that strong making it hard for them to open doors, turn off faucets or switch off lights.
Luckily, you can choose from numerous senior-friendly hardware and fixtures. For instance, you can consider lever knobs to replace round doorknobs. Door grips to make it easier for them to open doors at the slightest effort without changing the knobs. Lamp switch turners are a good idea to help your loved one easily turn their lamps on and off.
Some seniors often forget turning off their faucet. This leads to flooding inside the house. You can consider foot-activated faucets, touchless faucets, or even WiFi-enabled faucets to make sure they don’t waste water and get to avoid future water damages.
Get Rid of Old and Unnecessary Clutter
Seniors are often sentimental and would want to keep their possession as possible. But since they are now more prone to slips and falls, it would be best to get rid of any unnecessary clutter. This will give you peace of mind knowing you have fewer things to worry about that can cause them injuries.
But before you do anything with their belongings, make sure to acquire their permission first. You don’t want to end up getting rid of things they value too much. Tell them why you need to clean their place and why these things can be a safety hazard to them. If they insist on keeping the items, then you can convince them to let you organize instead. It would be best to clean up the mess and store these somewhere safe.
Seniors have unique needs. If they plan on aging in place, then it is your job to help your senior loved one modify their home according to their needs. Focus on projects that will help keep them safe. Think of what you can do to make everyday tasks more manageable. Invest in projects that will help save them more in the long run.