Having a mother or grandparent living at home can promote a significant shift in safety needs. You must protect your aging parent from various issues that come with homes designed for able-bodied individuals. Here are some of the upgrades to make as soon as you can afford it:
Upgraded Bath and Shower
Whichever shower your parent will use should be ADA accessible. That could mean installing railings and handles on the bathtub or installing a seat in the bathtub. Another possible upgrade is to get glass shower enclosures that provide a bit of a support against falling; the shower curtain offers nothing in the way of stabilization.
Forego the Tub
A bathroom that is accessible to an elderly loved one should forego the tub unless you will be there to help your loved one get in and out.
Choose Great Locks, Both Inside and Out
Home Security becomes more of an issue as well. You may want internally locking doors that create a barrier for a parent with Alzheimer's from going out. You could also opt for spring doors with a heavy spring that prevents your parent from going outside without your assistance. But preventing an intruder from coming in is just as important. Some intruders will make your home a target if they see an elderly relative living on the property because the cost of prescription medications has gone up in illegal markets. A locksmith will help you address these issues.
Consider Chair Lifts
A single story home design is ideal. But if you live in a home where key amenities are spread out, it may be best to get a chair lift to accommodate your loved one. These can be installed right alongside hand railings on your staircase.
Have Adequate Heating and Cooling Repair
Perhaps you can stand the heat or the cold, but your parent probably has higher sensitivity to temperature changes that can affect their immune system and well-being. Make sure your heating and cooling system is tuned up if you're planning to take on an elderly parent in your home. Air conditioning is especially important, as heat stroke and other related heat illness can be especially severe for elderly residents.
Update Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It's true that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors benefit everyone. But elderly residents are more susceptible to smaller amounts of carbon monoxide or smoke poisoning. Plus, having a forgetful relative in the home makes it more likely that the stove will get left on or the heater settings will be incorrect and cause a carbon monoxide release.
The bottom line is that a little bit more attention to detail with your home safety can go a long way when you have an elderly parent or grandparent to protect, and you will be glad you invested in these safety technologies if they can one day prevent an accident.
Contact a company like Universal Refrigeration for more information and assistance.