According to 2019 data published on the Rural Health Information Hub website, some 46 million adults aged 65 years and above are living in the United States. That number is projected to balloon to nearly 90 million by 2050, while between 2020 and 2030, it is expected to reach somewhere around 18 million people. By 2030, there would be one in every five Americans aged 65 years and older, with a great majority of the people in this age bracket living in rural areas.
On a related note, recent surveys revealed how a great majority of seniors prefer the option of aging in their own homes over all the other choices. While this is easily the best option as it ensures that seniors will be close to their families and will thus feel more comfortable, it does pose some unique challenges that must be overcome. If your parents have decided that this is the way to spend their remaining years and you have agreed to the idea, then you have to ensure that everything is done right.
Take note of these five ways on how you can guarantee a safe and comfortable aging-in-place experience for your senior parents:
Remove all slip, trip, and fall hazards.
One of the best proactive ways that you can do to make your home as safe as possible for your senior parents is to get rid of everything that could cause slip, trip, and fall accidents. These hazards include area rugs, loose carpets, furniture pieces that are unsecured, cables and cords, debris and clutter, and the like. The key to identifying such hazards is to ask yourself whether something inside or outside your home could cause anyone to slip, get tripped, or fall upon touching something.
Consider hiring professional hospice care providers.
If you want professional help in looking after your senior parents while you’re with them and particularly when you’re somewhere else, hiring a healthcare professional with experience in hospice care is a must. Fortunately, there is no shortage of service providers with skills and knowledge in giving proper hospice care at home. This step would set you back a considerable amount but it would help make your senior parents’ aging-at-home experience safe each day.
Invest in renovation intended for senior living.
This may seem a costly idea to some, but the benefits of renovating a home with the intended purpose of making it senior-proof is a worthwhile investment. Whether it’s changing the usual tub into a walk-in one or changing the wooden doors into automated sliding doors, there are contractors that specialize in such a type of home renovation. You only have to communicate your desired changes with your chosen contractor and their crew will translate your specifications into a reality.
Add modern facilities and devices.
These days, there are numerous products and facilities that can make a senior’s life at home more comfortable and safer. Tech products like personal assistants (PAs) such as Alexa and Siri allow seniors to have a digital PA to send SMS or dial numbers for them, remind them of their scheduled medicine intake, and other things. You can also invest in facilities such as a chair lift/elevator, automated sliding doors, nanny cams, and smart lighting as these would add a great deal of comfort and safety to your aging parents.
Declutter the whole house and move all essential items on the first floor.
Finally, be sure to remove everything that serves as a mobility nuisance in and around your house. Also, take the initiative to put everything that your parents need on the first floor (if you live in a multi-floor home). By decluttering your home, making it easy for your parents to move around, and placing essential things they need on the ground floor, they will have an easy time accessing the things they need and feel more comfortable.
By following these tips, you’ll help your parents age in your home as comfortably and safely as possible.