4 Furniture and storage
- Consider re-positioning furniture – or taking away unimportant furniture – if this will make it easier to enter, exit or move around certain rooms. This may be particularly sensible if a walking aid is being used.
- Avoid storing frequently-used items at a level too low down or too high up.
- Several types of furniture designed for storage, from wardrobes and chest of drawers to tables, shoe racks and coat racks, are now available in adjustable-height models from places such as IKEA as well as specialist online websites for older and disabled people (see Useful organisations and websites). Popular items can then be stored at a height convenient to your relative.
- For items unavoidably stored in high places, have a small and sturdy stepladder handy to use, such as those on this page of the Living Made Easy website. Ensure that whichever one you choose provides good support to help maintain balance.
Rugs and carpets
- Discuss with your relative about removing any rugs or replacing any carpet that could prevent the safe use of walking aids, or which could potentially cause trips.
- If a rug is particularly cherished (and your relative would prefer for it not to be moved), then ensure that the rug is securely in place and cannot slip, particularly if it is on top of a polished floor. Use a non-slip grip sheet between the rug and the floor.
When everything is just out of reach ...
- Use a pick-up stick or grabber to help pick things up from the floor.
- Consider putting a letterbox cage over the letterbox on the inside of the door, to prevent post from falling onto the floor.
- If you have milk delivered, a long-handled bottle holder (also known as a ‘no-bend’ milk bottle holder) may be easier to pick up than the normal bottle holders.
- If your relative has a cat or dog, you could also purchase a no-bend pet food bowl.