Page 15 - Senior Housing Directory 2022 South Central Michigan
P. 15

  Bringing a Loved One Home
ONCE you’ve decided to bring a Kitchen non-slip. Adding grippy, stick-on traction pads
is an inexpensive way to give you traction on
• Lips – Some styles of stair have a lip where the
stair top extends over the stair riser. These are notorious for causing trips and falls. Any stair lips should be eliminated.
• Alternatives – If possible, a stair lift or a residential elevator can be installed to eliminate the need to use the stairs.
• Hallways – should be wide enough for a walker, mobility scooter, or wheelchair to easily pass. The ADA recommends a minimum hall- way width of 48 inches. Widening hallways may require a contractor.
• Non-slip surface – Some flooring surfaces are slicker than others. Consider flooring that is less likely to be slippery such as lightly textured carpet or add anti-slip paint to hard surfaces.
• Throw rugs – The edges of throw rugs can easily cause trips and falls and should be removed. Throw rugs are one of the two major home hazard categories recognized by the CDC for common fall causation.
• Clear space – When arranging furniture and belongings it is vital that you keep floor space clear as much as possible. Wider paths for moving throughout the home accommodate walkers, mobility scooters, and wheelchairs while also helping to prevent falls from trying to move in a cluttered environment.
• Alarm system – Burglar, fire, CO2, and any other alarm systems should be updated and placed where batteries can easily be changed and maintained without climbing ladders or arrangements made for help in maintaining the systems.
• Escape route – In case of fire, climbing out
a window may be difficult. In fact, by age 65, seniors are twice as likely to be killed or injured in a fire as the rest of the population. Consider an easier escape route than a ladder.
• Peepholes – Door security peepholes should be lowered for easy access from a seated position or replaced with a video system.
Let technology be your friend – Technology can be added and managed right from your cell phone or a touch pad device. You can use to turn on and off lights, lock or open your home; talk to a visitor at your door and even let them in if you choose; use in case of an emergency; manage banking and paying bills; and communicate with family and friends. This can be very helpful to your loved one.
Keep in mind that many agencies offer in-home care for your loved one if that is not something you are comfortable with. Services include telehealth, doctor or nursing care, therapy, laboratory and pharmaceutical services, home health aids, com- panionship, homemaker, and more.
parent home to live with
your family you need to be sure your home is aging-in-place ready. Some
things likely need to be done to ensure your loved one can safely move into your home. This checklist can help you get your home prepared as well as prevent further renovations down the road.
Many of the items listed may not need to be done nor do they require a contractor. For exam- ple, guide lighting in hallways may be as simple as adding a few nightlights and removing throw rugs. For renovations that require a contractor, remember that if you have a VA home loan, or are otherwise qualified, there are VA programs that can help with remodeling costs for seniors and those living with a disability.
• Counter height – Counter heights may need adjusting to accommodate working from a seat- ed position. The ADA recommends a minimum countertop height of 36 inches.
• Sinks – Sinks may need under-counter clear- ance for a wheelchair.
• Storage – Additional lower storage shelving should be installed to prevent falls from reach- ing for items in high storage or items in high storage falling on you.
• Freezer – A side-by-side or all-in-one refrig- erator/freezer unit can make reaching foods easier.
• Stove – An electric cooktop with controls on the side or front can be safer than a gas stove or controls on the back.
• Tub and shower – Make sure your tub/shower is accessible. This may mean a roll-in shower or a walk-in tub and shower combination that reduces the need to step up and over the side of a bathtub.
• Handrails – Should be installed near toilets and tub/shower entrances.
• Non-slip flooring – Should be installed for wet areas. This can mean non-slip mats or painting hard bathroom surfaces with non-slip paint.
• Taller toilet – Toilet seat risers are an easy DIY fix.
• Safety controls – Anti-scalding valves on wa- ter heaters or bathtub faucets prevent scalding.
Outside the Home
• Repairs – Any missing, broken, or rotten deck or steps, door seals, etc. should be repaired.
• Limited mobility entrances – Decks, patios,
porches, and approaches to doorways should be wide enough to allow a walker, mobility scooter, or wheelchair to pass easily. Stairs may need to be replaced in favor of gently sloping ramps with handrails or guardrails. These areas should also be a non-slip surface and covered if possible. Door thresholds should not have a sudden lip or drop in height that could cause stumbling or be difficult for a wheelchair to cross.
• Lighting – Be sure entry lights are working. Even better, use technology to lite pathways and entryways prior to exiting or entering.
• Doorways – All doorways should be wide enough to comfortably admit a walker, mobility scooter, or wheelchair to pass through and thresholds should be flush or gently beveled for easy transition between rooms. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommends a minimum doorway width of 36 inches. Widening doorways may require a contractor.
• Door hardware – Replace knobs/handles with lever-type handles. These require less grip, which is good for those with arthritis or grip issues.
• Locks – Window locks should be updated for safety and ease of use.
• Guide lighting – Lighting designed to activate in case of a loss of power should be available in all rooms.
• Hallway lighting – Hallways should have nighttime guide lighting for safety of movement.
• Lighting controls – Lighting controls should be easily accessible from a seated position height and/or with technology.
• Outlets – Any worn outlets should be replaced, and ground fault-interrupt safety plugs installed.
• Capacity –The capacity of your home may need to be updated, which may mean replacing the main electrical box and breakers in order to handle not only the current needs but also to be able to handle medical equipment and assistive devices your loved one may need in the future.
• Backup – Because they may rely on certain medical devices such as oxygen, consider hav- ing a backup generator system or other backup power option installed in case of power outage.
• Cords – Any power cords should be neatly bundled and secured so they can’t be a tripping hazard.
• Extension cords and multiple plug adapters – A special note on extension cords and mul- tiple plug outlet adapters. Overloading power outlets is not only a fall hazard, it is the cause of 12 percent of electrical house fires each year. Have extra outlets added when updating your home’s wiring instead of relying on power strips, extension cords, and overloading outlets.
Stairs & Hallways
• Handrails – Secure handrails should be added along the stairwell.
• Non-slip surface – Stair surfaces should be

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