Elderly Choices

Preparing your house for elderly needs.


4/12/20232 min read

April 12, 2023

Continuing the rant about elderly care. In taking care of our elderly aunt, we are anticipating a few household additions for ourselves so that we can stay in our home if either of us is incapacitated in any way.

  1. One option is to purchase a bidet toilet seat. These have improved greatly due the Covid pandemic. There are several choices and they have come down in price. You could replace the entire toilet and buy a bidet toilet. This alternative is expensive and requires plumbing and electrical knowledge.

  2. Or you could just replace the seat with a bidet toilet seat. This is the option we are going for. Make sure there is an electrical outlet within reach of the toilet (generally the electrical cords are only four feet long). From there, the expense is in how many settings there are for posterior, anterior and turbo wash, heated water, heated seat, and drying choices. Check Lowe’s, Home Depot and Amazon for the best price.

  3. The other project we are looking into is replacing the combination tub/shower with a walk-in shower. We have a hot tub so we don’t need the tub for a soak. If you don't have a hot tub you might want a separate tub for soaking. We have a walk-in shower with seating that we love. That's upstairs. We are looking to change the bathroom on the ground floor and to make that it is wheelchair accessible should either of us need that in the future. We will make sure to install hand rails and bars for ease of use also. I like the design where the entire bathroom is tiled and the shower is open to the toilet and sink. That would make life easier if you were in a wheelchair. The bathroom on the ground floor is small enough that this might be the best choice.

  4. We already have power recliners, those are so helpful. The only problem we’ve found with those is when the electricity goes off and you’re in the reclined position. It’s difficult to get down when you can’t lower the foot rest. Otherwise they are a boon for when you can’t use your arm to pull a lever and recline.

  5. Our hallways are already wide enough for a walker or a wheelchair so that’s a plus. We can easily install a ramp to go up the two steps we have into the house, no worries there. We have an open floor plan which will make maneuvering a wheelchair around easy.

  6. We also make sure that chairs for our guests are comfortable. Sometimes when we visit others we find the chair they sit in is very comfortable but chairs kept for sentimental reasons are very uncomfortable. Often these are the chairs left for guests. Sit in your guest chairs and make sure they are as comfortable as the chair you sit in.

  7. We have bedrooms on the ground floor so if one of us has to use a wheelchair there is a bed and bath on the same floor as the kitchen. The only thing we would have to consider is putting in a washer/dryer on the first floor. Right now it's in the basement. We could install a small combined unit on the first floor over in the sun room. It already has water hookups available.

  8. All of our door handles are levers instead of knobs. As you get arthritis it becomes difficult to turn knobs properly. Start replacing those knobs with lever handles.

    If you’re over sixty, now is the time to think about what happens when you are elderly and can’t get around like you normally do.