As our parents reach a certain age, many prefer to stay in their home, rather than move to a senior community or living facility. The unfortunate truth is, many times our parents live in homes that weren’t built with the safety and health of a senior adult in mind. But there are avenues we can take as the adult child, or caretaker, to help create a more safe environment so our parents in age-in-place with peace of mind.
Below is a list of 10 organizing tips to help your mom and dad safely age-in-place in their current home;
1. Store at Waist Height
As we age, our joints, strength and balance deteriorates. This means that bending down and reaching above our heads is difficult for most seniors. Make sure to check that all the items your parents need is stored at waist level, or in easy to reach places that won’t cause them discomfort to find.
2. No Clutter By The Steps
Ideally, seniors should avoid the stairs as much as possible. We even recommend arranging their home so your parents can stay on the first floor of their home. But if they insist on taking the stairs, check that it is clear of all clutter and there is a sturdy hand railing for balance support installed.
3. Light The Way
Our eyesight grows worse as we age so having good lighting throughout your parents home is essential to avoid health crises like a fall. Make sure all the bulbs are fresh in the hallways, basement, attic and anywhere you know your parents spend the most amount of their time.
4. A Basket By The Stairs
Find a basket to attach on the wall by the stairs. This is a great device for seniors carrying items back and forth, as well as reminding them what they need to bring with them, up or down.
5. Rolling Carts For The Kitchen
Rolling carts are great for the kitchen or rooms without carpet. Your senior parent can use it to move items like groceries, pots, pans, etc. without much effort.
6. Important Documents All In 1 Place
We highly recommend keeping all essential documents in one place, such as a wellness folder with all important medical information. This makes it easier to grab in case there’s an emergency, or if your parents need to find their passport, social security card or any other document they may need.
7. Medication List On The Fridge
Most seniors take a laundry list of medication as they get older. And for many, keeping track gets harder and harder as their memory starts to falter. Put a list on the fridge, with the day and amount to take. This is a great place as it’s in a prominent area that your parents will visit often and see daily.
8. Remove Those Rugs
A change in elevation can be a sudden shock for a senior adult whose reflexes are low and eyesight is bad. Check that all unnecessary rugs have been removed from walking spaces to prevent accidents.
9. Safety Bar In The Bathroom
With balance and possible nerve damage from diseases like diabetes, a senior may have trouble lifting themselves out of a seated position. Installing grab bars in the shower and by the toilet are essential support items to have in your parent’s home.
10. Who Does What List
As they say, it takes a village, right? Taking care of a home can be overwhelming, especially with caretaking for aging parents added to that. Splitting the tasks between your family members, caretakers and a friendly neighbor will be important so no one person carries the entire load alone. Create a list of who will do which task, and when, so you can have peace of mind that Mom and Dad will be well taken care of moving forward.
We hope this list of organizing tips helps your peace of mind while caring for Mom and Dad while they age-in-place.
- 10 Easy Tips for Organizing An Older Adult's Home (sabrinasorganizing.com)