How to Prepare a Space In Your Home for an Aging Parent
As your parent’s age, they may need more help with daily tasks. This can be hard on you and them. But there are steps you can take to make the process easier for everyone. One way is by preparing a space in your home where they will live comfortably as their needs change over time.
Here are some tips for creating an accessible space that’s comfortable and safe for aging parents.
1. Install Safety Features
According to a recent poll, one in five Americans believes the health care system was not at all prepared for the aging population. Now, more than ever, it’s important to be prepared for the changes that come with aging. Making your home as safe as possible is one of the most important ways to start.
Safety features such as a banister or railing provide support for an aging parent and prevent falls. For older adults who experience issues with mobility, a ramp or sloped entryway provides an alternative to staircases.
Your aging parents may also need help getting in and out of the shower. To make this process easier, install slip-resistant flooring that will prevent your parent from slipping while getting in and out.
2. Hang Cozy Lights
Lights in your home should provide the right amount of brightness for easy living. But they also need to be cozy and inviting, too. Older people could benefit from softer lighting around the house to make tasks such as reading or cooking easier on their eyes.
You can do this by installing dimmer switches throughout the house so you have complete control over the brightness in each room. You can even purchase lamps and overhead lighting with a softer glow to provide the perfect amount of lighting for your aging parents.
3. Add Comfortable Furniture
An aging parent may need a new chair or recliner to make living in your home more comfortable. Why not update the furniture in one room of your house to bring comfort and style together? In general, furniture such as a sofa, recliner, or easy chair can last for seven years before it begins to deteriorate. However, it is uncommon for them to be in good shape at 15.
You can start by choosing several chairs, ottomans, and side tables that go well with each other while providing just the right level of comfort. If your parents spend a lot of time in one room, such as the living room, this is a great way to make sure they’re comfortable while also adding a homey touch to that part of the house.
4. Pick Out Decorations Together
If you’re decorating your aging parent’s room, consider their tastes and interests first. This is another way to turn a basic space into one that’s cozy and inviting.
You could also ask your parents to pick out some decorations together. Not only is this a great way to get them involved in their living space, but it also gives you a chance to learn more about the hobbies and interests they enjoy. From there, you can work with interior designers to create a space that reflects both your parent’s personality and yours as well.
5. Keep Their Bedroom At a Comfortable Temperature
Older people are more sensitive to changes in the temperature, so it’s important that they have a bedroom that stays at just the right stage no matter what time of year. You can do this by installing central air or heat in your parent’s room.
Remember to choose energy-efficient HVAC systems, given that the typical family spends approximately $2,000 per year on energy bills. As much as half of this goes to heating and cooling the home.
It’s important to plan ahead when making the transition from a younger to older generation. By investing in safety features, cozy furniture, and comfortable lighting, you can better prepare your aging parents for a lifetime of happy living in your home.