Light it up
Updating the lighting in your home is one very simple way to make it safer and more comfortable for your aging parent. Add nightlights in the bedroom, bathroom, and hallways for safety. Then make sure there is appropriate, bright task lighting wherever your parent needs it: near her reading chair, for example, or in the kitchen. And if possible (you may have to bring in an electrician), make sure controls for the lights, thermostat, and so on are easy to reach and use. (Find 10 bright ideas for saving on lighting.)
Ideally, you would have a step-free entry into your shower stall and a bench inside for seating. “We recently built a custom shower for a client, and the biggest reason for doing it was to add a built-in bench,” says Nate Bruen, owner of Handyman Connection in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. If that kind of renovation isn’t in the cards, a free-standing shower seat is a budget-friendly option. Grab bars are essential when caring for aging parents, especially if they will need to step up into the shower or bathtub.