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Senior Living with Ease

Of all the things that go bump in the night, we do not want it to be the sound of trouble in the dark for our loved ones. Water, slippery surfaces and dark bedrooms can become hazardous issues that need to be addressed for safety and peace of mind. Downsizing design, safety, style and comfort must be a top priority. Putting these 15 design tips into place will provide a safe, cozy living space in which to retreat.

1. Install handles and grip bars to assist with entering and exiting the shower and for stability during bathing.

2. Standard bathtubs can be turned into a walk-in shower with a tub cut. It is a permanent, finished cut on the side of the tub that creates a safe and easy entrance for showering.

3. Tub benches provide safe seating during bathing.

4. Use rubberized bath mats inside and outside of the tub/shower area.

5. Use plastic shampoo bottles that are easy to grip. The ones that come with pumpers are very user friendly.

6. Install sufficient lighting over the sink and tub area and have all the outlets brought up to code for use in the bathroom.

7. Light the walkway into a bathroom by using a nightlight with sufficient brightness for safe nighttime navigating.

8. Safely dispose of all expired medications so that they are not accidentally ingested.

9. Keep spreads and bed skirts off the floor to minimize tripping. You can purchase tailored bedspreads with fitted corners on the ends to eliminate bulkiness that can become a tripping hazard.

10. Use lighter weight bedspreads and blankets. Bulkier, heavier bedspreads and blankets are too cumbersome for many seniors to move while sleeping.

11. Add a sturdy, comfortable chair to the bedroom design. This provides a reliable spot for seniors to sit down and put on their shoes and socks or curl up with a book.

12. Use allergen resistant covers for bed pillows to cut down on allergic reactions.

13. Use remote controlled window treatments to make it easier for arthritic hands and joints where there is no reaching required. Most any type of window treatment can have motorized operation.

14. Use room darkening windows treatments. They cut down on strong light for sensitive eyes and can promote longer, more restful sleep. Motion sensor night lights can be put to good use here for lighting during movement at night.

15. Place a telephone with a larger keypad on the nightstand by the bed. Program family and emergency numbers into the speed dial. Additionally, there are many personal emergency alert devices such as pendants, watches and transmitters available that are invaluable in case of a fall.

Certainly these are great suggestions, but be sure to look closely at the living spaces of your senior loved ones for other potential risks such as loose rugs, dangling power cords, etc. Let’s create a “home safe home” for all our loved ones.

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About the Author

Linda Hunt, Creatively Yours Custom Inc.
6406 Tammy Lane
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

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