The pressure and responsibility of caring for aging parents can come on quickly and unexpectedly. One concern you may have on your minds is your elderly parents' safety at home. Here are some strategies to make your aging parents' home a safe haven.
Doors and Doorknobs
Make the front step long enough for a walker.
Add railings, and if needed, a ramp for a wheelchair.
Add a wedge to the threshold to make it easier to get a wheelchair into another room.
Widen the doorways so that a wheelchair or a walker can pass through.
Put a thick rubber band around a doorknob so it's easy to grip, or replace the doorknobs with levers that are easy to open.
Install grab bars on every wall (near the toilet, in the shower, etc.).
Remove the threshold at the shower door so there's nothing to trip over.
Consider turning a room on the first floor into a bedroom.
Raise the bed up a few inches to make it a little easier for your parent to get in and out of the bed.
Install pull-out drawers inside the cabinets.
Install a faucet with a lever so there's no knob to twist.
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 12, 2013