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Making Your Home Safe for Elderly Visitors During the Holidays

Posted on by Dan Martin

Fast approaching is that wonderful time of year when family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays. Often that means events and parties that include elderly parents, friends or relatives. Whether an elderly relative or friend with limited mobility is coming for the afternoon or staying longer, it is best to consider their safety and comfort.

A new concept in home design known as visitability is a growing trend nationwide. The term refers to a home being designed in such a way that it can be lived in or visited by people who have mobility issues or use wheelchairs or walkers. While this concept is well-suited to our aging population, what steps can you implement in your home today to prepare for an upcoming visit?

Statistics show that falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of non-fatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. Two thirds of those who fall will do so again within six months. Fall prevention is critical. Below you will find tips to enjoy a comfortable and safe visit.

  • Clear wide passages and salt/sand driveways and walkways
  • Remove all area rugs for duration of visit
  • Rent ramp(s) for easy access to stairs or thresholds
  • Install grab bars or a Super Pole for balance and stability
  • Rent a commode for guest bedroom or a toilet seat riser for bathroom if necessary
  • Add extra lights or night lights for visibility

Additional safety measures should be considered if a guest is staying long term or permanently moving in. Call an expert to come to your home to perform an accessibility assessment, provide ideas, and give you estimated costs for making your home accessible, safe, and comfortable.

Suggestions may include:

  • An accessible low threshold shower
  • A stair lift for upstairs access
  • Converting an existing tub to a walk in shower with an affordable tub cut-out.
  • Hand held shower or bath seat with grab bars
  • Additional railings, grab bars or safety bars for balance and stability

Many options exist for home accessibility and comfort. Advance preparation can go a long way to making an older relative comfortable in your home. Innovative products are available quickly and affordably to ensure a wonderful and safe holiday for all!

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