People are living longer, and therefore need their homes to be adapted so they can carry on living independently. This has been found to help with confidence and social integration and has even been linked to a slowing down of the declines in mental states associated with dementia.
However, if you live with someone who has arthritis or other mobility issues, you will want to ensure that they are safe in your home when you are not there. Therefore, there will be certain adaptations needed to help them to retain their independence and improve their self-esteem.
In this article, you will be guided through how you can adapt the rooms in your home for someone with arthritis or mobility issues. So read on to learn more!
This is a hot spot for accidents, especially when it comes to people who are elderly, due to the fact that it is full of slippery surfaces. Therefore, the mobility bathroom supplies you should be looking for (depending on the severity of the mobility struggles your loved one has) will include grab rails, shower seats, non-slip mats, and raised toilet seats. In cases where there are extensive mobility requirements, you may need to consult with a physical therapist before making any adjustments.
Another hot spot for accidents that are easily preventable in the elderly. Many older people need to use the bathroom at night, so it can be worth installing motion sensors next to each step or in the hallway, so your loved one will be able to see where they are going.
It is also wise to install grab rails on the wall next to the stairs and to ensure that there is carpet or coverings that grip the soles of the feet, too. Also, aim to remove rugs, as these can increase the chances of slipping.
The kitchen will also need to be adapted. Everything—pots, pans, cups—should be at head height when you live with someone who has arthritis. This can prevent the need for them to tiptoe, which could lead to them falling. Also, if you have a loved one who is unable to bend, it may be best to place regularly used items onto the countertops so that they are accessible at all times. Make sure that the smoke alarms are working too, and that they can easily be shut off by someone whose mobility and range of motion are limited.
The Living Room
Try to light up the living room, so your elderly relative can see. And if they need to turn the lights on, make sure that the switches don’t require leaning or tiptoeing.
Remove rugs that are not securely placed and, if you can, aim to get chairs that are based around safely moving your relative from sitting down to standing up in one motion. It can also be worth installing grab rails for safety. Of course, ensuring that your loved one has a personal alarm is always a good idea, too.
The bed will need to be at waist height to prevent crouching and bending, as well as ensuring that the bed is fixed in place and cannot move.
Try to give your elderly relative the bedroom closest to the bathroom, as this will help them to navigate at night. In cases of very limited mobility, you may need to install guardrails at the side of the bed to prevent them from falling.