When you think about senior care, you probably think about meal preparation, housekeeping, and transportation. That’s the norm for many families. They want their parent to be able to get through the daily activities of living. While that’s a good start, you should also consider your dad’s home. If his home isn’t safe, he’s not safe.
When planning senior care services, make sure you take his home into consideration. Here are the things you need to look at.
Do Any Hazards Increase the Risk of a Fall?
Slippery rugs on wood floors, loose carpet seams, and slippery tiles all increase the risk of falling. If your dad’s home isn’t equipped with grab bars in the bathroom, it can be a problem. Go through his home and put in grab bars. Tighten or install railings on all indoor and outdoor staircases. Put slip-proof backing on throw rugs.
Have Structural Defects Appeared Over the Years?
As homes settle, structural defects may appear. Look at the roof. Is it sagging? Check exterior walls for bowed areas. Look for cracks in chimneys or concrete walls that are wider than an eighth of an inch. See if the floor is even or slopes in any of the rooms.
Does It Meet Local Codes?
Check to see if there are any issues within the home that don’t meet local codes. For example, the heating system’s vent pipe may not be double-walled. If it only has a single wall, it may increase the risk of a fire when the heating system is running.
How Old Are Things Like the Electrical System, Roof, and Windows?
In an older home, the rising cost of repairs may be a problem. How old is your dad’s furnace or boiler? If it’s more than 20 years old, it may not work properly or pose a safety risk. Asphalt shingles tend to last about 20 to 30 years. After that, the shingles may allow water through, which increases the risk of mold or water damage to ceilings, plywood roofing, and trusses.
Light switches and electrical outlets often need replacing after 10 years. Windows may last 20 to 30 years, but even they need replacing to prevent drafts and rot.
Is the Layout Amenable to Changes Your Dad Faces?
If your dad falls and breaks a bone, will he be able to recover at home? Does he have a long flight of stairs to climb in order to get into the house? Is his laundry room in the basement? Is the only bathroom on a different level than his bedroom?
As your dad’s abilities change, he may need his home to be updated or altered for easier mobility. With certain changes and the help of a caregiver, your dad can age at home.