Help Older Parents Make the Right Furniture Choices to Stay Safe

When helping your older parents buy new furniture, consider minimizing the risk that the furniture is a safety risk. You want your parents to be independent, safe, and happy. As we get older it becomes more complicated. Planning is essential.

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Help Older Parents Make the Right Furniture Choices to Stay Safe
5 Min Read February 23rd, 2021 Updated:January 30th, 2023

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.

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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.

LTC News Contributor Mallory Knee

Mallory Knee

Contributor since September 25th, 2020

Editor's Note

You know what happens as you get older. Between chronic health problems, mobility issues, dementia, and just frailty, aging will lead to needing help with everyday living activities. 

As you age, there is an increased risk of falls, accidents, and injuries that can come with aging. Many older adults go into isolation to avoid some of these risks because they have no one watching out for them in their homes.

Quality long-term health care enables older adults to remain as independent as possible and maintain their dignity, autonomy, and connection to others. Indeed, that is what you want for yourself and your spouse as you age.

Plus, having quality care means you get emotional support which helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Without professional long-term health care, one of your adult children will often step in and become your caregiver. Family members are usually untrained and unprepared for being a caregiver. These challenges are burdensome on your adult children and their families. 

Some of these challenges include:

  • Difficulty in maintaining a job and family responsibilities with that of being a caregiver

  • Feelings of guilt or a lack of self-care for one's own needs

  • Feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caregiving 

  • Feeling financially stretched as they take more time off working and more time being a caregiver

  • Feeling emotionally drained from caregiving

  • Difficulty dealing with siblings as one person becomes responsible for your care

Long-Term Care Insurance will help you maintain control and independence. You will have tax-free funds to pay for your choice of quality care, including in-home care. Your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of caregivers.

Don't delay, as LTC Insurance is medically underwritten. 

How Does LTC Insurance Underwriting Impact Ability to Obtain Long-Term Care Insurance?

Premiums are based on several factors, including:

·        age

·        gender

·        health 

·        family history

·        selection of riders and options

·        amount of benefits within the policy

How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?

Professional Help to Ensure You Have the Right Plan

There are several top-rated insurance companies that offer long-term care solutions. Each insurance company has its own underwriting standards, and premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. LTC Insurance is custom designed. A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will match you with the best company to save you money. A specialist will put together accurate quotes from all the top companies based on your age, health, family history, and other factors.

Resources for Long-Term Care Planning

LTC NEWS has many tools and resources. These resources can help you in your research as you prepare for your future retirement and plan for the costs and burdens of aging and declining health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Long-Term Care Guides  

Long-Term Care Glossary

LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator

Parent’s Health Declining? Do They Need Care Now?

Get quality care for your parent or parents if they require it. LTC NEWS can assist. We've put together a few comprehensive guides to help you along the way.

Find help locating quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim.

These four guides can be very helpful as you try to find appropriate long-term care services for a loved one:

·        Finding Quality In-Home Care

·        Adult Day Care Centers (ADCCs)

·        Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities

·        Finding a Quality Nursing Home

If your loved one is fortunate enough to have Long-Term Care Insurance, make sure they use it. Families may wait, believing that they can save the benefits for a rainy day. It is not a good idea to put off using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits.

Today's Reverse Mortgages Can Benefit Older Families

Some people have a large portion of their savings in their homes. With the help of reverse mortgages, you can find ways to pay for quality in-home care, pay for LTC Insurance, and even assist with cash flow during retirement.

Yes, today's reverse mortgages may be the perfect way to pay for a Long-Term Care Insurance policy or even cover the cost of in-home care if you or a loved one is currently in need.

Asking an expert with your questions will help you learn more. Mike Banner, a columnist for LTC NEWS and the host of the television program "62 Who Knew," will respond to your inquiries about long-term care, reverse mortgages, aging, and health.

- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.

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There are various marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, strategic alliances, and more are available. 

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

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