Is your older parent moving or downsizing? Maybe they are experiencing mobility challenges as they get older? The furniture in their home may become a safety risk. Furniture should be aesthetically pleasing, but furniture should be safe for seniors as they get older and face more health and physical problems.
As we age, specific considerations are necessary for many of the purchases we used to take for granted. That list of things to consider grows for more substantial investments, such as new furniture for a living room, for example.
For some seniors, various features may automatically disqualify vast amounts of furniture pieces from consideration. Here are several furniture buying tips for older adults to keep them safe and independent for as long as possible.
Get the Proper Support
Our muscles tend to become weaker and fatigue more quickly as we get older. It leads to a person leaning or slouching. Poor posture can adversely impact a person's health, especially if you are older. Recurring chest infections, lung infections, and urinary tract infections are just some of the health issues, in addition to muscular-skeletal problems, that just poor posture when you sit can produce.
The most crucial aspect for any piece of living room furniture is whether it seats the user comfortably. A sofa or chair should be comfortable while providing proper lumbar support. For seniors, living room furniture with good support makes dealing with health conditions or chronic pain much more manageable.
Easy Maintenance is Key
All furniture requires cleaning on occasion, and this requirement does not lessen with age. A good piece of furniture will have an easy-to-clean material that doesn't require much maintenance beyond wiping or vacuuming. For fabrics that stain easily, consider adding a slipcover before guests arrive if there is a risk of damage.
Features Make Life Easier and Safer
Modern living room furniture can feature many innovations that make the seated experience more enjoyable. Heated and massaging seating is available to help you deal with aches and pains. Where recliners and sofas of the past only lean back, many newer models now offer a power-lift feature to make returning to your feet more manageable. There are also many reasons to consider a sleeper sofa, a popular option because it allows for sleepovers with the grandkids and is perfect for hosting guests from out of town.
Owning a cushioned recliner is something everyone at any age enjoys. However, for mobility-challenged seniors, electric recliner lift chairs make it easier to get out of the chair for anyone with mobility problems. While they look just like regular recliners, these recliners have a built-in motor that raises and lowers the entire chair. This allows sitting down and getting up much easier and safer for any older adult.
There are also items available for the bedroom and bathroom. There are many ways to help someone maintain control and independence in their home, from adjustable beds to walk-in showers and bathtubs with less dependence on other people.
What to Avoid
A useful collection of furniture buying tips for older adults should also include a list of features seniors should avoid. Seniors and older adults should avoid furniture with pointed edges or corners that can lead to bruising. Similarly, glass edges can be sharp, leading to cuts and bruises that become more difficult to recover from with age.
Trip hazards are dangerous for seniors because a fall could prove fatal if no support is available. Clutter and throw-rugs create a fall risk, and falls are a leading cause of death and long-term care for seniors.
Finally, try to avoid bulky or heavy furniture that is difficult to slide around your home. Downsizing and replacing items that are more age-friendly will help keep your loved one safe and more independent.
Aging Happens – Be Prepared
More families want to keep their parents at home as they start to require long-term health care needs. Keeping them as safe as possible is job one. Once a person needs help with daily activities or requires supervision due to a cognitive decline, in-home services will be necessary. As we get older, we all face changes with our health, our bodies, and our mind.
Many families are unaware until it is too late that health insurance, including Medicare and supplements will not pay for this type of long-term health care, be it at home or in a facility. Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for this type of care, but you must own a policy well before you need the care.
The end result is family members become default caregivers, or paid care services must be sought. The problem is long-term health care is a significant cash flow problem and a family problem. Most adult children are unable to be full-time caregivers because of their job and family responsibilities. However, long-term health care services are costly and adversely impact your income, assets, lifestyle, and legacy.
LTC Insurance Offers Many Benefits to Help Keep You at Home
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance is a key part of retirement planning. While it might be too late for your older parents, you should start planning, ideally in your 40s or 50s. LTC Insurance offers benefits for all types of long-term health care, including assisted living and in-home care.
Seek the help of a qualified specialist instead of a financial advisor or general insurance agent. There are many moving parts, and underwriting varies dramatically between insurance companies. Premiums can also vary over 100% between insurance companies for the same coverage.
Find a specialist by clicking here.
About the Author
Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.
Contributor since September 25th, 2020
Every day an American family goes into crisis mode because of long-term health care. An adult child becomes a caregiver or must spend a parent's assets to pay for services. The is emotionally draining and creates stress and anxiety for your family.
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