Modifying for Mom – Making Your Home Senior-Friendly

If the time comes when you decide to move a senior loved one into your home in order to better care for them, you may want to make a couple of modifications to your living space to make it safer, and more accessible. There are many things you can do on your own, and other things that should be left up to a qualified contractor to do on your behalf. Frank’s Worldwide Moving can help ease the transition with a range of comprehensive service offerings.

Assessing Needs

Of course, you’ll need to consider your loved one’s physical needs prior to making renovations. Think both about any difficulties they’re facing now, or have the potential to face in the near future. For example, can they navigate stairs? Do they have vision problems? Are they prone to wandering? You may be best served to renovate a basement for ground-floor entry or set up a bedroom on the first floor of your house so mobility isn’t an issue. According to the Globe and Mail, you may also need to widen doorways to accommodate a wheelchair or install safety railings and more lighting in different places in your home to help protect against accidental falls.

Setting Up Space

While your loved one is likely excited about being part of your household, they’ll also want their own space and privacy. A private room with a bathroom that’s well-equipped for their needs is ideal. You may need an accessible shower with a seat or a walk-in tub with slip-proof features and handrails. You may also need to modify countertops in kitchens and bathrooms to make them easier to reach, as well as ensure you’re not storing everyday items on high shelves. According to the Government of Canada,  consider everyday needs, from self-care and grooming to meal preparation and accessing various parts of the home, and plan your modifications in accordance with those needs. 

Safety Features

You may opt to install some types of security features that protect your loved ones when you’re not around, such as a senior alert or a remote monitoring system. Also, ensure that you check your fire and carbon monoxide detectors, and if necessary, install a ramp or stairlift. Carpeting and loose rugs can sometimes be a trip-and-fall hazard, so keep that in mind as well. Even decluttering spaces will help ensure easier, safer mobility for your loved one. Things like shoes or a toy left in the middle of a room can be a major hazard, as can lamp and computer cords and uneven floor transitions. Also, be mindful of household pets who can get underfoot.   

Hiring a Contractor

While there may be some modifications you can make on your own if you decide to hire a contractor, make sure you thoroughly vet them prior to embarking on a project. Get at least three estimates in writing and check with your local contractor’s association or Better Business Bureau to ensure no complaints have been filed about the contractor. Prices will vary based on your location, the size, and scope of the project, and the materials required. If you’re remodeling a basement, you’ll also want to ensure that subflooring is installed prior to carpeting to protect against mold. Ask about costs, project timelines, and the potential for cost overruns. 

Making the Move

If you’re helping a loved one downsize and move, it can be an emotional experience. Allow them to keep their most treasured household items with them, and give them a say in what happens to other belongings. Sometimes gifting heirlooms to other family members is an option, as is making a donation to a favorite charity. It might be easier to have assistance packing and moving. Not only will items be well secured, but you’ll also have the option of storing, as necessary, and it will take away a lot of the stress and anxiety around the move. 

Moving an elderly loved one into your home for caregiving purposes is a gracious and generous offer. Make the transition as smooth as possible by ensuring everybody is able to safely navigate in the new home environment.

Frank’s Worldwide Moving offers local, regional, and even international moving and relocation services. They also provide packing, shipping, and storage options as needed. Reach out today for a free estimate!

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