Thoughtful ways to prepare for elder guests
Homeowners may find themselves hosting senior guests several times throughout a typical year.
These occasions can be wonderful opportunities for making memories, but homeowners may need to take certain precautions to ensure that guests are safe and comfortable.
This may involve making some minor modifications around the home.
Mobility and comfort needs for seniors may differ those necessary to accommodate other guests.
Meeting the needs of senior guests may involve any of the following.
• Make sure pathways leading to and from the home are level, cleared and easy to see.
• If possible, add a ramp over stairs that lead to the front door. Ensure handrails are sturdy.
• Remove clutter and excess furniture if a guest visiting will be using a walker or a manual/motorized wheelchair.
• Remove accent rugs from a home, and be sure that any mats are secured with nonslip material.
• Increase lighting in entryways, staircases and hallways, especially areas leading to kitchens or bathrooms.
• If guests will be staying overnight, arrange sleeping accommodations on the first floor and/or in a room closest to the bathroom.
• Well-placed grab bars in the bathroom can be an asset. See if you can borrow a portable shower seat to make bathing or showering easier for overnight senior guests.
• For long-term guests, consider replacing round doorknobs and other pulls with lever-action ones that are easy to grab.
• Concessions may need to be made concerning interior temperature, noise levels and television viewing.
Try any or all of these easy modifications to help make your senior guests feel comfortable on a short visit or a long stay.