With age, many older adults find that their ability to see and to get around declines. This factor may lead to one of the most common risks, which is falling. Fall-related injuries in the elderly are mostly serious enough and may result in hospitalization or even death. Thus it’s important to make your home, especially the bedroom, safe and comfortable. With just a few smart modifications and some additional features, you can make a big difference.
Often it’s as simple as removing clutter or installing some new lighting. But more important than any of that is to check in with them regularly regarding what they need and what they’d like to change about their bedrooms. Here are some tips to modify their bedroom to improve safety and comfort without compromising its aesthetics.
The best bed for elderly is one that is sturdy, well constructed, and firm. A firm bed is the ideal sleeping surface since it provides the least amount of pressure on the body. A mattress that is too soft or sags in the middle will put unnecessary pressure on the shoulders which can cause pain and leave your loved one feeling exhausted.
Another important factor for choosing a bed for the elderly is the bed’s height. Too low or too high beds are dangerous for elderly’s joints because they have to overly bend or stretch their knees in order to get in or get out of bed. it is best that the appropriate height of the bed is at least 23 inches from the floor.
For a good checkpoint, you can make sure by observing if your elder relatives’ feet are resting on the ground when they sit on the edge of the bed. Moreover, it is also important that older people have a safety bed rail to support them easily rising when getting in and out of bed.
One of the most important elements of a well designed bedroom for the elderly is the flooring. You may choose ceramic, tiles, linoleum, carpet, or wood for whatever reason. But one aspect you must take into consideration is whether the flooring is slip resistant or not. For one, slip resistant flooring can reduce the risk of falls, especially when it comes to the elderly or disabled who are prone to falls.
Hardwood and linoleum are good choices and can be added with safety strips to increase the traction. While carpeting in the bedroom has traditionally been popular, it is not the best option. The reason? Carpeting is considered a potential trip hazard.
INSTALL PROPER LIGHTING
As we age, our eyesight naturally diminishes, and most elderly folks find it increasingly difficult to see without proper lighting. To ensure your elderly loved ones have no problem getting around their bedroom, have them install light switches and bedside lamps within easy reach and corners of the room that are well-lit.
Additionally, an automated lighting system could be an even better option. Apart from artificial light, making sure that there is a proper window to facilitate the exposure of natural lighting is also a vital step for their health. It keeps molds away and good for the respiratory system.
REMOVE CLUTTERS FROM BEDROOM FLOOR
When your bedroom floor is cluttered, an aging person could trip over it and hurt himself due to trouble seeing, loss of balance, or limited mobility. Therefore having a compact cupboard or storage drawers to store belongings is necessary in order to keep the bedroom floor neat, tidy, spacious, and safe walkways.
Make sure to provide the bedroom with sturdy, heavy, and secure furniture. For extra safety, you can also ask the carpenter to anchor pieces that easily tip like tall bookshelves or wardrobes to the wall so your aging loved ones can use it as a support.
Easy-on-hand should be your top priority when installing things for elderly. Replace door knobs in your parents’ bedroom with lever style handles which can be easier to operate for people with grip issues. Make sure the hardwares functions smoothly with minimal effort.
Easy access to a hard-wired telephone is a must for any senior sleeping alone in one bedroom. This phone should be located next to the bed and equipped with a backlit keypad number. By having a working phone, it keeps communications lines with outside help open, even in a case of an emergency.