How to Update the Kitchen and Bath to Ensure Senior Safety
By Lucy Wyndham
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Making a home safe for seniors is vital as your loved ones begin to age. Whether you are a family member looking to update your own home in a way that allows your elderly loved one to regularly visit, or you are a director at a senior community, there are certain renovations that can be made to ensure greater senior safety and security. By assessing the potential needs, you can determine which changes need to be made.
Many seniors will appreciate interconnectedness that is achieved through the use of digital technology—and this type of technology should be made available in every room in the house. To save seniors from falls or other accidents, installing a wireless system will make any environment automatically safer. In addition to digitizing the environment, two rooms that should be updated for the sake of senior safety are the kitchen and bathroom.
Senior-Friendly Kitchen Updates
When modifying a home to be senior-friendly, a good place to start is the kitchen, as it will undoubtedly be a space that needs to be utilized each day in some capacity. One kitchen feature to consider is the storage. Keep items, like cookware, that will be used regularly in lower cabinets that can be easily accessed—even from a wheelchair.
You may also want to purchase items like Lazy Susan trays, sliding wire organizers, or pull-down shelves for enhanced accessibility. It is also useful for seniors to have drawer handles that are easy to open and close to avoid arthritic pains, and to have a kitchen faucet that is updated with lever-style fixtures instead of hard-to-twist knobs. With these easy, low-budget renovations, seniors will be more capable of working in the kitchen without encountering issues.
Safety Installations for the Bathroom
After considering the necessary kitchen updates, you will want to focus on making the bathroom more accessible. Bathrooms may be the most dangerous room in the house for seniors, combining slippery surfaces, like tile or linoleum, with water. One update to immediately consider is adding grab bars to the side of the toilet.
Bars that are wall-mounted will make it easy to get up from the toilet securely. You should also add grab bars to the tub or shower to avoid slipping. It can be very difficult for seniors to get in and out of the tub or shower on one’s own, and bars will be able to support a person’s full weight while giving them needed stability.
By making these updates to your home or rooms in your community, you will ensure that seniors are safe and capable while using spaces like the kitchen and bathroom.