While making a house more accessible can involve big projects like stairlifts in the home, it can also have smaller solutions.
Yes, you can make your home better while caring for elderly parents.
Even small projects can make a big difference.
While we were able to get rounded or bull nose tops for kitchen counter edges, it was not possible to get them for the side edges. And because the counters in the kitchen stop before the doorway, the squared corners were potentially dangerous. For frail skin, it was a worry my mother would brush against the edge and then bruise or abrade her skin.
Foam table edging, made to protect toddlers, cushions the edges and has held up very well in the kitchen. It cleans well. Most importantly after its installation, my mother was safer in the kitchen. And while technically this may not be considered making it accessible, it did make her kitchen more accessible for her. And that allowed her to enjoy cooking longer.
What are some other small projects to make a home more accessible?
- Changing doorknobs to levers. It is easier to open a lever than a doorknob, especially for someone with limited hand mobility. And levers on faucets are also easier to move than knobs.
- No noticeable transition between changes in flooring such as going from carpet to vinyl flooring can make a difference. Even transitions mean elderly are less likely to trip from one height to the other, and if a wheelchair is needed even temporarily it’s easier to move from one to the other.
- An elevated toilet or an elevated toilet seat can be helpful if it’s hard to get up and down. Even choosing the height of a chair seat or sofa can make it easier to sit down and get up.
Share your tips and make this post more helpful! Leave a comment below with your suggestions for increasing accessibility while caring for elderly parents.
From my heart to yours… Laugh Well, Love Well and Live Well!
Ina Gilmore, M.D. (Retired)
“The Knitting Dr.”