Nana and Pop-pop have made your lives better for decades. Whether it’s about big life decisions or about taking care of the baby so you can have date nights, gramps and grammy have never let you down. Life is unimaginable without their guidance, constant harmless meddling, and adorable Christmas gifts. They have made your lives easier and happier for as long as you can remember. Now, it’s your turn to spoil them back.
“Aging in Place” is a concept that’s becoming more and more popular in the country. It’s used to describe the situation wherein seniors decide to live independently in their own homes instead of going to a retirement home. The elderlies’ lives are usually made easier with the help of in-home care franchises, companion providers, and food and service delivery providers. Availing of these services can be easier for them. However, there are still other factors to consider to make sure they are living safely and happily.
Here are the three key factors and more than ten tips for you to consider when building a safer and healthier home for the grandparents.
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
When it comes to architecture, edges are the enemies of the elderly. Most of the elders are prone to imbalance and falls due to their age. Since accidents still happen no matter how hard you try to avoid them, lessening the damage and risk should be the priority. Make sure that the house is edge-free. Choose curved and smooth surfaces and pillars. The furniture you choose shouldn’t also be pointy.
You can also prevent falls by avoiding slippery floors. Use soft materials like rubber for the flooring to increase grip and avoid accidents. Using rugs and carpets is also okay as long as they are taped to the floor. Rubber mats should also be placed in the bathroom and even in the bathtub.
Since it gets harder to stand up as you grow older, it would be best to attach grab bars or wall support in places where they have to sit down. Place one beside the toilet to help them avoid slipping if the bathroom floor is slippery. The kitchen, dining area, and living room should also have grab bars near their spots to help them get up.
Attaching a grab bar on the wall nearest to their beds is also helpful for stretching their legs. And most importantly, make sure that there are railings for them to hold to if ever there are stairs in the house.
The lighting also matters. In case their vision gets impaired, it would be best to make sure that all the rooms of the house are well-lighted. Choose lighter colors for the walls and the floor. And make it a point to have the light switches placed in convenient locations.
Lastly, attaching the furniture, especially the big ones, to the walls and floors is crucial in earthquakes.
One of the most common indoor accidents is tripping. For kids and younger adults, this usually leaves scratches and scars. However, the consequences might not be as simple for the elderly. Prevent this by decluttering. Always make sure that there are no objects scattered on the floor.
Avoid octopus wiring and electric cords on the floor. It’s not only a tripping hazard but a fire hazard as well. Go with battery-powered devices instead. That way, you’d also have one more reason to check up on them regularly.
The dangers of falls and trips have already been discussed. However, the risk in these situations increases whenever there’s glass around. Reduce glass and ceramic objects in the kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Reusable plastic and stainless steel would both be better alternatives since they aren’t dangerous when dropped.
With all these precautions, they will probably live safely. But it doesn’t end there. Providing an active lifestyle is also needed for them to have a healthier life.
Maximize the space in your home. Living in a cramped-up space makes life depressing. No matter how big or small your place is, simply allotting multiple rooms designated for different activities could already benefit their mood.
Provide physical activities. You have to keep them as physically active as you can so their bones won’t atrophy. Design your home with a front yard to garden and give them space for walking around, breathing fresh air.
You also have to come up with many mental activities. After all, it’s not just their bodies that you have to consider. Chess has been quite popular for older men. Puzzles, sudoku, and word games can also be used to keep their minds fit. Getting them hooked on popular mystery TV shows is also advisable since it gives them entertainment while making them think.
The key here is to attach the idea of relaxation and mind usage to a single room. It’s like going to the gym even if you do not exercise that much. There’s a sense of satisfaction in going to that specific place. There’s even satisfaction whenever you don’t go there.
And last but not least, conduct monthly events that they could look forward to. Give them a sense of commitment. By having monthly game nights, you can bring out the competitor and make them feel younger again. By having movie nights, they can spend weeks looking for the perfect film for you to watch. Incorporating themes and activities to different rooms and spots in the house can help put an order in worn-out minds.