Safely aging in place will inevitably mean doing some home renovations. From small things, such as removing dangerous items that could be in a person’s way, to more advanced changes like adding a stairlift, modifying a senior’s home to make it hazard-free is of the utmost importance. The elderly face a higher risk of hurting themselves due to a debilitated sense of balance, so making sure their homes are well-equipped to lower those chances is a must. No room should be overlooked, but a few deserve special attention – the kitchen (fire hazard), the bathroom (where most falls occur), and the bedroom.
Naturally, special care should be given to the bedroom’s centerpiece: the bed. While you can just get a hospital bed, this can be quite disheartening for seniors. Instead, we recommend getting an adjustable bed that comes with all the necessary features but still looks like a regular bed when laid down. These adjustable beds allow you to raise and lower both the head and feet areas for extra comfort – and some even come with built-in massage features, wireless hand controls, and the ability to adjust the firmness of the mattress. Attaching bed rails is also vital for restless sleepers, as falling puts the older generation at risk every single day. You should also consider getting a fall alert button or a medical alert service with fall detection if you don’t have one already.
Remove Dangerous Items
Decoration is an important part of any room but having lots of furniture can put your loved one in danger. Rugs are a great example of something that seems completely harmless at first sight but can be extremely dangerous for a senior. As we grow older, our balance deteriorates, and even the most common things might be a health hazard. This makes it more important to ensure that all unnecessary and potentially dangerous furniture is removed from the bedroom. Instead, use safer alternatives such as bedside floor mats.
Use Bedside Aids
There are various tools that you can use to improve your loved one’s safety when they turn in for the night. If the senior usually needs to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, then getting a bedside commode chair is essential. The chairs allow the user to relieve themselves without having to walk too far in the dark. Speaking of darkness, getting a nightlight and installing rocker light switches helps seniors recognize their surroundings better if they need to get up in the middle of the night. Clap on lights are also a good option, but they’re more expensive.
Other tools you might want to invest in include a sturdy chair with arms to sit on when getting dressed or a sock aid – both of these will help minimize the risk of falling. But since falls can still occur, we recommend using a medical alert service that allows you to place wall buttons around the house. These buttons allow the senior to ask for help when they fall, even if they don’t have their medical alert device on them.
Getting Financial Aid for Senior Bedroom Renovation
Doing such extensive renovations in your loved one’s bedroom can be expensive and, unfortunately, not everyone has the means to make the necessary improvements. This is where asking for financial aid comes in. From insurance companies to non-profit organizations, there are various options that you can consider.
For example, Rebuilding Together is a national non-profit organization that helps seniors all around America with repairs and home modifications to promote health, safety, and independence. Similarly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture also has a program that provides grants to very-low-income homeowners to fix health and safety hazards. While insurance companies won’t help you with the repair, they’ll still provide assistance to get medical equipment such as toilet safety frames or hospital beds (provided you have a doctor’s subscription). Last but not least, some compassionate contractors are also willing to do home modifications for seniors at a reduced fee.
In short, modifying your loved one’s bedroom to be senior-friendly is always a possibility. Therefore, it should be at the top of your to-do list as it will improve a senior’s life quality tremendously.
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