Your dad’s bedroom is a mess. It’s packed with things you’ve never seen him use. It’s dusty, full of pet hair, and needs organization. It seems like a complex task, but it’s easier if you take it one step at a time.
1 – Declutter
Start by going through all of the clutter with your dad. If he has items he doesn’t ever use, they could be donated or sold. Items he uses daily need to be placed where they’re easy to access. Other items should be stored for when he needs them.
2 – Add Storage
When the clutter is organized, you’ll need to increase storage if there isn’t enough. Under-the-bed plastic bins with covers is a good start. You can also add bin shelving and containers in closets to increase storage space.
3 – Examine Safety Issues
Once all items are put away, it’s time to look for safety issues. The carpeting seam has frayed and come apart. Your dad could trip on it. It needs repair. If the carpet is old and worn, he may be better off replacing it with non-slip vinyl flooring or new carpeting.
You need to look at other hazards like a bed that is too high off the ground. Look for furniture legs that stick out and could catch toes when he walks by. See if he has furnishings that are not secure to the walls and could topple if he bumps them.
4 – Ask About the Typical Route Taken
In the middle of the night, what route does your dad take to get to the bathroom? If there was a fire or carbon monoxide alarm, how would he leave his bedroom? Make sure that furniture and other obstacles are not in the way of those routes.
5 – Arrange Furniture
Once you know how your dad moves around at night, arrange furniture so that it doesn’t pose a problem. Put his bed closer to the bathroom or hallway door. You want him to have a straight path between the bed and the door.
6 – Install Lights for Night
Floor level lighting can help as your dad moves around the house at night. If it’s floor level, the lighting won’t hit his eyes and wake him up. It will illuminate the floor for obstacles.
Look for LED puck lights that can be installed at the bottom of a wall in hallways. Some of it taps on easily with a toe. You could also get motion-detection lighting or lighting that runs on a timer or turns on and off when it gets dark and when the sun rises.
Has your dad already fallen? If he has and is recovering from a fracture, elder care is a good idea while he heals. He can have elder care aides drive him to follow-up appointments, run errands for him, and help him move around the home.