New additions to your household can be equal parts exciting and stressful. There’s a lot to prepare for when you’re adding a new family member to the mix, and it takes on an added level of complexity when the addition in question is an aging parent or a child. A lot of things in your home that don’t cause you any problems can suddenly become a hazard when someone more vulnerable has to deal with them every day, and the last thing you want is for any member of your family to get hurt. Luckily, there are plenty of modifications that you can make to your house to make it safer and more accessible for an older resident or for children. Here are some that are worth considering!
Bathtubs can be quite the hassle for older residents of a home. Making some modifications to your bathroom can be a big help when you move your parents in. Installing grab bars makes a difference in how easily they can get in and out of the tub to shower or bathe, and bathtubs can also be modified to include a seat so that there’s no need to sit on the floor of the tub. You can also change out a tub altogether for a shower stall, which is easier on an aging parent.
Large, knob-style faucets can be difficult to grip and turn, both for arthritic hands or for small children learning to wash their own hands and eventually run their own baths and showers. Replacing these faucets with lever-style handles makes turning the water on and off much easier for both the elderly and for kids. Additionally, there are upgrades available that reduce the risk of scalding by controlling your water temperatures, something that comes in handy for both older adults and children.
If you have a wheelchair user in the house, something that never bothers you like the countertop height can get in their way throughout the day. In both the bathroom and the kitchen, lowering your countertops to a more practical level can be very helpful to a wheelchair-bound resident. Additionally, when changing out your countertops, you can help to avoid injuries by selecting ones with rounded edges and corners instead of sharp ones, which is also a useful update when you have kids running around!
Doorknobs can often present the same problems as faucet handles by being difficult for less adept hands to turn, so making sure you have lever-style doorknobs in the house will make a big difference in how easily your parents can get around. Too-narrow doorways can also pose an issue for any members of the household in wheelchairs, as the tight spaces can be difficult to navigate. Adding 180-degree door hinges can help create more room to maneuver, and it’s even possible to widen the doorways throughout the house.
Stairs can be a danger for both young and old members of a household, so it’s important to make sure that you’re properly prepared. All of your staircases should have proper handrails or banisters that are secure and easy to grip, and if you have an open side to your stairs, the balusters or spindles need to be close enough together that a child can’t slip between them. If your parent has trouble with stairs or is in a wheelchair, installing a stair lift could be a useful option.
Moving your parents into your home or preparing for children can seem like an insurmountable task, but with a plan of the things you need to change and a little help from plumbing and remodeling experts like Schuler Service, the transition can be smooth and easy! If you’re interested in learning more about our upgrades for kids or aging in place, contact us here to discuss your project. Schuler Service is ready to help you!