How many times have you heard your parents stating they want to stay in their home as long as possible? A nursing home, an assisted living facility or maybe a smaller apartment may accommodate their needs but cannot replace the coziness of their home.
On the other hand, you may be preparing to have an elderly parent or a senior relative at your Rancho Bernardo home, and you’re planning to make a few adjustments to enhance their experience while visiting or living with you. In that case, keep in mind that it takes time for a person to adjust to a new home. You can ease the emotional stress and the adjustment process by being attentive to their concerns, routines and habits.
You’re aware that moving can be difficult and stressful, especially for older adults. For them, moving is not just moving, it’s leaving behind the memories they created with friends and family.
This is why instead of moving your elderly loved ones to an entirely new environment with better care, you may choose to make a few adjustments to their house or even do a home remodel to accommodate their needs.
Our home remodeling Rancho Bernardo experts have prepared several home remodel projects to consider to make a home more accessible, secure and comfortable for your elderly family members.
1. Modify step entries
Given that elderly people may have a hard time lifting their legs up and over the traditional threshold, contact a trusted home remodel Rancho Bernardo expert to help you find the appropriate solution. One of the options would be adding a no or low-step entrance. Think about replacing the porch steps with a gradual incline from the driveway. This way, you’ll minimize the risk of falling and make entering the house easier.
2. Replace stairs with ramps
Many seniors have difficulty walking or standing. Therefore, climbing stairs may not only be tiresome but also a potentially hazardous adventure. Even if your loved one has no immediate need for a wheelchair, consider installing a ramp to provide support for a less agile family member. In case of a multi-story home, you might think about installing an elevator or a chair lift for an easier access.
3. Install handrails
Many seniors don’t feel steady when walking through the house and have trouble getting down and back up from a seated position. Installing a handrail on both sides of the steps and in strategic places throughout the house can help the elderly maintain balance and footing and prevent possible falls.
4. Adjust the bathroom
By raising the height of the toilet and installing grab bars and rails inside the shower, bathtub and next to the toilet, you’ll make a bathroom more elderly-friendly. To prevent falls, use a non-slip mat in the shower and a non-slip rug on the floor, and install a curbless or a walk-in shower with a foldable shower seat.
5. Widen doorways and sidewalks
The minimum doorway width for a wheelchair to get through is 32 inches. Make the doorways 36 inches wide to make sure your elderly family members can comfortably enter the room whether walking, using a cane, a walker or a wheelchair. The same goes with the sidewalks. They should be slip resistant and not cracked, uneven or overly steep.
6. Adjust kitchen countertops
Considering the average height of the kitchen cabinets and countertops is about 34 inches, you should consider a kitchen remodel. Installing cabinets at a more accessible 30 inches makes preparing food easier for someone who is using a wheelchair. You might also want to come up with ways to make clever use of the kitchen space.
7. Install sensor lighting
Additional and improved lighting will enable your elder ones with the compromised eyesight to see more clearly and move around the house more easily. Illuminate the entrance door, walkways and pathways with adequate lighting. Have a motion-sensor light switch installed, which will automatically turn the lights on when it detects motion. You may also find it useful at the top and the bottom of the stairs.
Have you given enough thought to making your kitchen more functional with additional lighting? It would also be a good idea to make sure that every light switch is placed within hand reach from a wheelchair.
Looking for a home remodel in Rancho Bernardo?
To help you elderly loved one live their golden years with ease and comfort, contact Classic Home Improvements, a reputable home remodel contractor serving Rancho Bernardo and other San Diego counties. Our highly skilled and experienced experts will help you with the home remodel plan and design and guide you through every step of turning a house into a safe and welcoming place for your elderly family member.