How to Create a Happy and Comfortable Home for Seniors
As we progress through life, we change our home to cater to our needs. For you or an elderly loved one, there are more prevalent changes that are made to assure that the home environment is secure and comfortable. Besides ensuring the proper safety hazards are taken care of, there are more subtle changes that can be forgotten when trying to make sure your loved one is happy in their home. Here are some tips on ways to make sure your loved one is not only safe in their home, but how they can live as happily as possible. Because home is where the heart is and that’s what Happier Aging is all about!
Install Better Lighting
One of the common instances that happens while aging is that eyesight may worsen. As we age, muscles that control our pupil size and reaction to light lose some strength. This leads to the pupil becoming smaller, and less responsive to changes in ambient lighting. Make sure for every room, hallway, closet and stairway that there are extra lamps or overhead lights that will illuminate the space, as this is one of the most crucial fall prevention tips for seniors!
To make it even easier, find lights with accessible switches or ones that will turn on and off simply with a touch. Outdoor motion sensor and walkway lights are a good idea if they own a pet, as this will especially be helpful in increasing visibility.
Create a Gallery Wall
As families grow and start moving out of the area, it can be harder for seniors to be able to see their whole family as frequently as they’d like. Creating a gallery wall using simple photo frames to fill with images and memories of family is a great way to make your loved one feel more content. Reminiscence therapy is a treatment that uses all the senses — sight, touch, taste, smell and sound — to help individuals with dementia remember events, people and places from their lives. Looking at photographs can help stimulate memories for someone with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, helping them remember their family and the special moments they’ve had with them. Regardless of whether or not your loved one suffers from memory loss, seeing photos of their family is a very comforting feeling whenever they pass by.
Find a Hobby
Life after retirement sometimes can be a struggle for seniors, as they can feel less productive because they’re no longer working and suddenly there’s so much more free time. Picking up a hobby that brings joy and passes time is essential for a happier lifestyle. Plus, it’s a fun way for them to get out of the house and provide more opportunities to socialize and exercise. Not only that, but hobbies have been proven to relax and make you happy, improving the quality of life. Join a local book club, or find a new place to fish, there are countless ways to find something that you enjoy doing!
Currently, around 51% of individuals aged 75 and older live alone in the US. Especially as we get older, it’s more common to not get out as much and see friends and family. However, this could be extremely detrimental, as a study from Brigham Young University concluded that people who are socially isolated are at the same risk of death as people who smoke 15 cigarettes a day. It’s absolutely vital to make sure that your senior loved one is staying up to date with friends and getting out of the house at least a few times a week. Having at least one daily interaction with someone else, whether it be someone coming to visit or going out and walking a pet, is extremely important in seniors feeling good in their day to day living and minimize depression and isolation.
These are just a few ways that you can help enhance the quality of your senior loved one’s lives. Talk to them about the things they enjoy, their struggles and how you can make them feel as comfortable in their home as possible. With honest and heartfelt conversations, we can help our loved ones age happily and empower them with choice and autonomy!
Check out The Caring Blog for more senior lifestyle blogs like this one!