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Tips for Preparing a Retirement Apartment for Your Elderly Parents

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Elderly persons usually move into retirement facilities such as nursing homes at the onset of their sunset years. Such facilities are equipped to take care of the elderly; however, they can only do so much to make new arrivals feel welcome and comfortable. While it can be exciting for your elderly parents to move into a retirement apartment and begin the new phase of their lives, leaving the familiarity and comfort of their home can be traumatizing. Despite the difficulties faced when settling into a new environment, you can take a few steps to help your elderly parents settle in their new surroundings.

In this article, you will find tips on how to make your parents' retirement apartment feel like home.

Keep Important Things -- In most cases, a retirement apartment will not be as big as your house or your parent's home. As such, you need to be very careful when choosing what will accompany your elderly parents into their retirement apartment. Due to the sentimental attachment that older adults attach to their personal effects, letting go can be a problem. The best way to help them cope is by choosing what matters to them. Personal effects to keep might include family photos, favorite chair or flower vase. The point is to make the apartment feel homely without necessarily bringing in too much.

Keep Walkways Clear -- Elderly adults usually walk around with canes, walkers or wheelchairs. Putting this aspect into consideration is critical because it will dictate how long your elderly parents will stay in their new retirement apartment. Regardless of the size of the apartment, make sure that the walkways in every room are free of furniture. Additionally, keep any cords tucked away under the carpet or secure them carefully along the base of the walls. Keeping the rooms less cluttered will help prevent accidents and injury of your aged parents.

Accessibility -- One of the biggest problems that elderly persons experience is the limited range of mobility in their joints. As we get old, the range of motion in our joints reduces with time until it reaches a point where we can no longer do things we used to do while younger. Therefore, be strategic when positioning furniture, books, magazines and keys, etc. For instance, keep a phone on a stool beside the bed where a senior can reach it with ease. Books and magazines should be placed at a comfortable height where your parents will not have to bend far down or reach far up. Notably, ensure that you do the same with light switches as well as cabinet handles.