How can I make a home safer for my grandparent or parent?

Making decisions about an aging family member is never easy. Changing needs and situations are a delicate situation, especially when major decisions need to be made. While the ultimate decision of where is best for your parent or grandparent is up to your family, there are steps you can take to make your parents’ or grandparents’ living situation safer---and give you peace of mind.
Moving the laundry
If your family member has a basement laundry room, consider moving the laundry to the main level to minimize their use of stairs (especially with a laundry basket). In homes where space is an issue, consider converting a closet to a laundry where your parent or grandparent can do their laundry without dealing with steps.
Wheelchair accessibility
If mobility is an issue, or may become an issue in the future, remodel key spaces to make them suitable for wheelchairs and walkers. Think about replacing vanities with taller units with space underneath for a chair or wheelchair and replacing a standard toilet with a chair-height toilet.
Grab bars
Grab bars are a welcome addition in any home where a senior experiences balance problems. Ask a contractor to install grab bars in the bedroom, bathroom, and any common areas. These bars are invaluable in areas where the parent or grandparent needs leverage; research permanent and non-permanent products as you choose the right grab bar for the home. Some grab bars also move out of the way when not in use.
Bathroom Shower & Tub
Worried about your parents or grandparents getting in or out of the bath tub? Consider replacing their current shower and tub with a low curb shower unit. A low curb shower unit has a small step that your parent or grandparent has to step over. Low curb shower units are also large enough for a chair or wheel chair. An experienced contractor can recommend the right unit that meets your parents’ or grandparents’ needs and budget.

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