A lot of people do not realize the fact that elderly people often find it quite inconvenient and uncomfortable to reside in a home that has not been retrofitted. Retrofitting is a word that you may or may not be familiar with. For those of you who are not sure of what it means, retrofitting is the task of making changes in the house which make it the ideal abode for our elderly loved ones. The idea here is to make the house safer and nicer for the senior citizens so that they do not experience any discomforts in their own home.
A house that has not been retrofitted can make the life of an elderly person extremely difficult. This is because, as people age, their requirements change drastically. Not living in a retrofitted house can compel senior citizens to lose their independence and their dignity. The loss of independence and dignity can crush the morale of a senior citizen well beyond our imagination. No one wants our loved ones to feel suffocated, deprived, and isolated in their own homes.
If you are not sure of how retrofitting can be achieved in your home, you are advised to seek the counsel of experienced caregivers. They can provide a number of different suggestions, as they are familiar with how movement restrictions in a house can affect the mental and physical health of an elderly person. In fact, caregivers use their knowledge of a perfect retrofit to provide a wonderful service to their elderly clients. To help you out, we have compiled a short list of four ways a person can retrofit a home for the elderly:
1) Handle Bars or Grab Bars in the Bathroom
The bathroom is not exactly the safest place in the house for senior citizens. There have been several documented cases of senior citizens suffering severe injuries due to accidents that have occurred inside their bathrooms. One of the reasons why the bathroom can be regarded as an unsafe location for seniors is that the floor tends to get very slippery in there. This increases the risk of an elderly person losing their balance and falling on the floor of the bathroom. To avoid this problem, and to curb the risk of accidental injuries, you can install grab bars or handle bars inside the bathroom. You are advised to install handle bars specifically inside the shower, where the risk of falling is the greatest. The handle bars provide security for the elderly and peace of mind for everyone else in the family.
2) Ramps and Lift Chairs
Ramps in place of stairs can be very convenient for elderly people who are living in multi-story houses. In fact, senior care professionals frequently suggest the idea of installing ramps, as they are well aware of the risk of injury involved in climbing the stairs. Climbing the stairs might seem like a piece of cake to you, but it is a daunting task for the elderly who have problems with mobility. If they continue to struggle climbing up the stairs, then they will eventually choose to avoid the stairs completely and stay confined within their rooms. This significantly reduces their daily movement, which can increase the risk of health complications. If replacing the stairs with ramps is not a viable option, then you can think about placing a lift chair on one side of the stairway.
As the health problems pile on, senior citizens may find it difficult to make use of furniture in the same way as before. In certain cases, the furniture in the house could restrict their movement or get in the way of their needs. This is why it is necessary to rearrange the furniture all over the house, especially in spots where you find your loved ones the most. Cupboards, closets and rooms should be rearranged to accommodate current abilities and requirements. These simple changes can go a long way toward making your loved ones feel more independent and in control of their lives.
4) Improved Lighting
It is common for elderly people to have deteriorating vision as they age. In other words, their eyes become less competent at absorbing the surrounding light. This can put them at risk of falling down in hallways, stairways, and other locations inside the house where the loss of vision can prove to be costly. Accept help from a caregiver to come up with a better lighting solution for your home. You will require additional lighting and brighter light bulbs to retrofit the home..