For many people, remaining in the home you’ve spent years creating memories in is preferable to entering a nursing home. But day-to-day obstacles can make staying in your home difficult.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and alternatives to nursing homes that increase your home’s comfort and accessibility. Explore them in this helpful guide!
Simplify Daily Tasks
One way to make life in your home easier is to make thoughtful and innovative home improvements. Even small changes can alleviate daily burdens and streamline daily tasks for you or your loved one.
1. Easily Accessible Items
A simple change that makes a big difference is intentionally placing frequently used items in easy to reach places. This makes finding and accessing tools, medication, books, remotes and other items much easier.
In the kitchen, put appliances and utensils in cabinets that are not too high up or too low to the ground. That way, no one needs to use a stool or bend down to reach a cooking tool. Follow this same principle in the bedroom when storing blankets and in the bathroom for medications and hygiene products.
2. Smart Home Devices
Technology allows for some helpful in-home alternatives to assisted living. Smart home devices enable users to control things like lighting, television channels, and home security, all with the sound of their voice.
When set up correctly, a smart device can enhance the safety of a home. For example, setting up smart door locks and connecting them to a device allows the user to lock doors without lifting a finger. An individual can also turn on the alarm system and control lights around the house using a voice-activated smart home device.
Modify Your Home for Aging in Place
The most comfortable alternative to a nursing home is your residence. To continue living in your home, consider the modifications below.
3. Handrails or Grab Bars
As you consider nursing home alternatives, think about some of the typical fixtures in these facilities that can be integrated into your home. One such feature is a handrail. This simple element bolts into the wall and offers support as you walk throughout your home.
Handrails can fit just about anywhere you desire. Common locations that you may find grab bars useful include in the bathroom, near the tub and toilet, and hallways.
4. Stair Lifts
Homes with multiple stories can present a challenge to all of us as we age. Walking on stairs can be painful, time-consuming, and presents the risk of injury due to a fall. Luckily, an in-home mobility solution such as a stair lift provides a convenient way to regain access to your entire home.
It’s also beneficial to move towards an open floorplan to make spaces more accessible by wheelchair. To do so, you can remodel the home and knock out barriers to widen hallways and living areas. For a simpler, less invasive way to modify your floor plan option, consider moving furniture around to create wider pathways.
5. Modify Your Floor Plan Create Wider Pathways
A stair lift requires no construction and can be installed in hours. This makes it one of the most time-efficient ways to increase the accessibility level of your home. Plus the standard safety features, including a swivel seat and obstruction detector, make stair lifts a solution you can rely on.
6. Wheelchair Lifts
For individuals in wheelchairs, finding viable alternatives to nursing homes is possible. One way to make getting around the home easier is to add a wheelchair lift. This in-home device includes a platform that lifts the user from one area to another.
For instance, wheelchair lifts can move from the garage to the first floor of the home, bypassing the stairs entirely.
7. Home Elevators
For the ultimate convenience, a residential elevator is the ideal home addition. Whether an individual uses a walker, cane, wheelchair or no walking aid, an in-home elevator can allow for easy transportation between floors.
For people looking to age in place, a home elevator is a useful amenity that increases independence and lasts for years. Additionally, each elevator is completely customizable, so creating a design that fits within the home is achievable.
Transporting heavy items up and down the stairs can cause strain and discomfort. Fortunately, there’s a solution that doesn’t involve relying on someone else to transport items like groceries. A dumbwaiter can be installed in your home to allow for easy transport of items between floors.
Rather than carrying groceries, luggage or other cumbersome items up the staircase or waiting for someone to do so, you can place the load on the dumbwaiter and let it do the work for you.
9. Enlist a Caregiver
An in-home caregiver can make a world of difference for an individual in need of assistance. If you are in search of alternatives to assisted living facilities, browse the caregiving options below.
Family Caregiver vs. Paid Caregiver
Rather than entering a nursing home, many elderly individuals receive assistance from family members. Knowing that the individual is being cared for by a loving relative can decrease stress in the family. But, in some cases, a family caregiver is not enough.
When the need for more frequent or complex care arises, a paid caregiver is a valuable asset. You can find a paid caregiver through an agency in your area or a referral from a medical provider. This caregiver will have a set schedule and a detailed list of duties that you provide.
Nursing vs. Non-Medical Caregiver
Depending on your needs or the needs of your loved one, you may need to hire a medical caregiver. A medically trained caregiver like a nurse or CNA has training in caring for elderly individuals. For tasks like administering medication, providing physical therapy services and taking care of wounds or illnesses, a medical caregiver is an ideal choice.
If there are no pressing medical needs, a non-medical caregiver may be the right choice. This professional can assist with household duties, including cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking. On top of this, the caregiver might be able to drive the individual around in addition to helping them navigate the home.
Full-Time or Part-Time Caregiver
Last but not least, determine the amount of time for which you’ll require a caregiver.
If round the clock care is best, a full-time caregiver can provide this attention. Often, agencies can provide caregivers on a rotating shift. In other words, when one caregiver leaves, another arrives. This ensures that the individual is always with someone who can provide care.
On the other hand, part-time caregivers come for a set amount of time each week. For instance, if a family member takes care of the individual on Tuesdays and Thursdays but has commitments on other days, a part-time caregiver can fill in the gap.
10. Make the Outdoors Accessible
It’s great to find nursing home alternatives that allow you to stay in your home. But you should also look for enhancements that make outdoor enjoyment a breeze. The following options do just that.
Outdoor Stair Lifts
To get to the patio, backyard, waterfront view or another outdoor location, add a sturdy outdoor stair lift. Just like indoor stair lifts, these lifts are reliable and easy to use. Durable material and a water-proof motor cover shield the lift from the elements, so it stays vibrant and operational.
Outdoor Wheelchair Lifts
For wheelchair and scooter users, an outdoor vertical platform lift (VPL) is the answer to outdoor accessibility challenges. Sleek design and safety features make these lifts secure and pleasant to look at. Access outdoor areas that were previously difficult to reach with a vertical platform lift.
Reclaim Your Home with Mobility Solutions from Arrow Lift
Finding alternatives to nursing homes requires a bit of creative thinking and innovative home improvements. Arrow Lift is here to help you find the right solution for your needs. As leaders in the mobility solution industry, we offer only the best products and have a knowledgeable team to help you navigate your options.
To learn more about how Arrow Lift can increase the accessibility of your home, connect with us today!