Aside from clearing the clutter from their main room of rest, Taher suggests “moving the bed against the wall [to create] more space to move [around in]”. This would also prevent potential falls from bed, he says.
If a coat of wall paint seems too much, start making small changes with the bed linens, bed throws, and/or add decorative accents of the new colour (for e.g. lamp base and curtain tie backs).
Just a note: the ageing eye perceives colours a little differently so it’s important that your elderly loved ones like what they see.
Grab bars are a must-intall feature in bathrooms. These give the user something secure to hold onto to getting in and out of the shower, and also double up as a towel rail.
Add a wooden or plastic stool for sitting on while they shower or to hold your shower necessities so these are within easy reach, says Taher.
To further prevent accidents, avoid those metal or glass shelves that protrude from the wall, shares Taher.
For extra safety, add grab bars outside of the shower stall too. They’ll help safe navigation from the wet area to dry.
If this is separate from the bathroom, grab bars are a must too.
To avoid accidental slips and falls, consider laying down perforated rubber matting, suggests Taher.
Or perhaps consider rubber flooring! This might sound unusual but it’s practical. With its soft, springy underfoot feel, rubber is also durable.
And while those shelves are being installed, Taher suggests attaching a small disposal bin to the wall by the sink for easy disposal of items during cooking instead of having to bend over too often to reach below the sink or bins placed on the floor.
Avoid glass-topped coffee tables and ensure seating is at a comfortable height for getting up from, says Taher.
The fragile bones of the elderly will be happy to ease themselves into soft upholstered furniture too. If there are rugs in the home, ensure they are firmly anchored down and without curling edges that are tripping hazards.
Lightweight, stackable chairs allow for more space to navigate a wheelchair or walker around.
Avoid transparent (glass) doors – it’s easy to walk straight into one! Choose a solid door and paint it a colour that’s a contrast to walls next to it. That’s a great help to the elderly who have deteriorating eyesight.
Choose electrical equipment that have built-in sensors, offers Taher. For example, swap out the open-fire stovetop (gas) with auto-cutoff induction cookers. These are easier to clean too.