Taking Action for Your Parents: How to modify your home when your parent moves in

Nancy Braswell is taking a closer look at any potential safety hazards around her pool and home, but not because of her children.
 
Nancy is looking out for her mother, who now lives with her.
 
"Because her dementia has a permanence, she will be staying with me until I can no longer care for her physically," said Braswell.
 
Rita Rodriguez of Seniors Moving Forward helps caregivers make adjustments in the homes for their aging parents.
 
She says it's important to consider their disabilities and their emotional well being.
 
"You need to make sure the place is safe, it's easy for them to get around, things are within their reach," said Rodriguez.
 
To keep your parents safe in your living room area, Rodriguez suggests removing throw rugs, moving your coffee table so your parents can get around easier, especially if they have a walker or wheelchair. Also, keep cords out of the way.
 
In the bathroom, she suggests possibly changing your tub to a walk in tub or a roll in shower. If you do have a shower bath tub, Rodriguez suggests getting a shower seat. 
 
In the kitchen, consider your parents' use of the stove or microwave.
 
"If your parent has some memory issues, you can unplug the stove, if you feel that that's a safety factor or use a special button if they can only press one thing on their microwave," said Rodriguez.
 
As for doors, Rodriguez said a lever is easier for an elderly person to maneuver than a door handle.
 
Also look out for those ledges around the house. Nancy said she put down a brightly colored tape on the side of the ledge for her mother, so it would be noticeable.
 
Also take a look at their bed. "I put everything on a lower level for her and she enjoyed that a lot", said Nancy.
 
You can find additional help at the local area agency on aging: http://www.agingflorida.com

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