How to Make Your Aging Parent’s Home More Accessible

As a people grow older, items and elements of a residence that were once easy to use can become inaccessible to them. This particularly can be the case in regard to items and elements of a kitchen and of a bathroom. Through this article we provide you with changes you can make in order to make an older individual’s kitchen and bathroom more accessible. Some of these very well may be smaller alterations that you have not necessarily though. However, these are changes that can make a significant difference for the better in the daily life of your parent.

Bulk Purchases and Accessibility for an Older Person

Money can be saved by buying in bulk. The thing is that large packages of necessary kitchen and bathroom items can prove unwieldy for an older person.

Understand the challenges associated with larger packages for older individuals, go ahead and buy in bulk but take some additional steps. For example, if you buy economy size packages of food, portion them into single-serving options.

If you purchase paper products in bulk, break down these packages as well. This includes items like toilet paper, paper towels, and even napkins. Remove individual roles of paper products and store them an easy to access location where an older person can obtain a role at a time as needed.

Pay Attention to Challenging Packaging

You really don’t need to be told that some commercial packaging is virtually impossible to open. This can really be the case for an older individual who has more limited strength and dexterity. Examples of where difficult packaging is used include toiletries as well as some food items. 

In cases of challenging packaging, open the outer packaging for an older person and store the items contained inside in an easily accessible location. For example, razors are sometimes packaged in this manner. You can place individual razors in an open container that an older person can access to obtain a razor whenever a new one is needed.

Reconsider Storage Containers in the Kitchen and Bathroom

There are a variety of different types of storage containers that are easier to open than was the case in years gone by. For example, you can find:

  • Easy to open plastic bottles (that won’t break if dropped)
  • Bottles with easy to open flip tops
  • Bottles and contains with easy to open pull-up caps
  • Wide bottom tip-proof containers
  • Consider installing liquid soap dispenser

Dispensing body wash and shampoo can render a person off-balance. This can happen even with younger individuals. Another tactic to consider to make your aging parent’s home more accessible is to install wall-mounted liquid soap dispensers that are easily accessible in the shower and bathtub.

Obtain Electric Openers for Kitchen and Bathroom

In this day and age there are a variety of electric openers on the market. This includes electronic cap or top openers which can be very useful in the kitchen but also the bathroom. These are ideal for older men and women who may have difficulty opening jars and so forth with their hands. There are also under the cabinet or under the counter lid grippers. 

If your parent’s kitchen is still outfitted with a manual can opener, now definitely is the time to make a change. Get an electric can opener for your parent’s kitchen. 

Replace Handles … with Larger Handles

Take a walk-through in your parent’s home. You may find that there are a variety of smaller handles on various cupboards, doors, and so forth in the residence. Consider replacing smaller handles with larger ones. Most older individuals find it easier to open doors and the like that have larger handles attached. 

Prescription and Other Medications

There are a number of steps that you can take to make prescription and other medications more accessible to your aging parent. A key step is to use a cap derivation that is not childproof. With that said, you only want to take this step if you can be assured that a child or children will not be able to access a bottle.

In addition to this alteration, you should try and appropriately store your aging parent’s medications at a location that is easy for them to reach. For example, place them in cabinet or on a shelf that is within easy reach of your parent. 

When Living at Home Is No Longer a Good Idea for an Aging Parent

Even by making your aging parent’s home more accessible, including using the strategies discussed in this article, the day may come when your parent may realize that aging in place at home really isn’t working well any longer. Your parent may reach a juncture at which he or she thinks that some other residential alternative may make more sense.

In the alternative, you may reach a time on your own that you worry about the safety of your parent remaining in his or her private home. Your parent may not have quite yet had that realization but may seem open to a discussion about living options. 

There are other living options that can be considered, alternatives that are designed to assist your parent with various activities of daily living as needed, keep your parent safe, and ensure that your mother or father is able to enjoy optimal independence as his or her health permits. One option is the possibility of your parent moving into your home. At this point in the 21st century, an ever-increasing number of families live in intergenerational residences of this nature.

Another alternative is your parent moving into an assisted living community. An assisted living community will tailor the services provided to your mother or father based on his or her actual needs. A comprehensive care plan will be created with input from your parent. As mentioned a moment ago, the overarching objective of assisted living is providing a pleasant and safe environment for your parent to live in the most independent manner possible.