Moving to a new home can be a trying time for anyone. It's perhaps even more stressful on elderly family members who have made the decision to downsize and leave the home they've known and loved for years. There is perhaps a lot of safety in familiarity, and your elderly family member would have felt safe in their home simply because they knew it so well. If you have an elderly family member who is planning to downsize to a smaller property, you will want to do everything you can to help them to feel safe and secure in their new place. You might wish to consult a specialist in building inspections services who can then assess the potential new home for your elderly relative. They will identify any key areas of the home that can pose a possible risk, thus allowing you to make some improvements. If the new home is only a potential one (one choice out of many) then it might lead you to help your elderly relative to find a different, more appropriate place for them to live. So what are some of the things that a building inspections services specialist might suggest?
The easy accessibility of all parts of the home will be assessed. Are there any stairs at all? And do these stairs have an appropriate handrail? Any existing stairs will be examined to ensure that they are flat and even (essentially that they have not been subjected to any type of warping).
Entrances and Patios
Both the front and rear entrance to the home will be examined (including any front or rear patio). This will look at how slippery these areas could potentially become in wet weather. Additional traction might need to be installed.
Also on the subject of outdoor slipping hazards, the assessment will look at any paths outside the home, most notably from the street to the front door. Will this become dangerously slippery in wet weather? Such problematic paths might need to be overlaid with gravel for additional traction.
Slipping hazards will also be identified within the home, particularly in the bathroom. Handrails can offer necessary safety, and specialised impact-absorbing floor surfaces can be installed for added security.
Some minor rewiring might be needed within the home to ensure that there are sufficient electrical outlets. Any use of extension cords should be avoided if possible, as these can lead to a tripping hazard in some cases (particularly when the home is unfamiliar).
If your elderly family member has issues with their vision, some points inside the home might need to be highlighted. This means things such as light switches and electrical outlets should be painted (or at least outlined with paint) in a way that adds contrast to the similarly-coloured wall behind them, thus making them easy to identify.
This is just a few of the things that a building inspections services specialist might identify, and it's really worth the effort to make the move to a new home safe and comfortable for your elderly relative.