This is purely my thoughts and experiences. I'm no expert. Of course, each aged person has different needs and abilities.
My dad is 91 years, lives alone (semi-independently, is that a word?) at home. He must always use a walker (4 wheeled rollator), he has a heart condition and poor peripheral vision. I visit him daily (in the middle of the day for several hours). I prepare lunch and light dinner (Meals on Wheels was tried and later abandoned), clean house/maintenance/laundry, set out medication and chat with him.
- Get a lightweight, fold-up wheelchair for car trips.
- Get a simple to operate microwave, prepare meals in advance, stored in fridge or freezer.
- Keep everything in the same place daily (e.g. milk on easily accessible shelf, cereals in easy-to- use storage containers). Breakfast and light dinner are the meal my dad prepares independently.
- Medication placed in same spot each day. I have written in large block letters on his place mat: "PILLS AFTER BREAKFAST". Nighttime pills in container on bedside table (with similar sign). Note, I abandoned the 7 day pill box dispenser after continued confusion over days and spillages.
- Clock (get a large display digital wall clock that has the days of the week), centrally located.
- Chair (a motorised tip-up model is essential)
- Bed (waterproof mattress protector, hand grip bar that is anchored under mattress to aid getting in and out of bed)
- Clothes I have a simple clothes rack with appropriate clothes laid out near dad's commode chair. Underwear ('pre-loaded' with adhesive incontinence pads) is stacked up on a stool next to chair.
- Commode chair (a Godsend) Next to bed. I abandoned the wee-bottle - too many accidents. I have a large sign on seat; SIT DOWN (nighttime No 1's more piss landed on the floor than in the bowl). Commode chair doubles as a sturdy chair for dressing during the day.
- Lighting Motion sensor portable lights (set for after dark) are inexpensive and essential
- Disposable absorbent pads that fit into underpants (trunks style is the best). Before I leave for the day, I check dad has a new one on.
- Heating and Cooling A split-system ticks all the boxes for my dad's needs.
- Ramp (temporary or permanent - I went with the latter)
- Modified bathroom (rails, no step shower)
- Photo Albums Memories are powerful and often more entertaining than watching TV by yourself. Dad's long term memory > his short term memory.
- Phone My daily routine is I phone dad at 8:00 a.m. to remind him/check he has taken his pills and he rings me at 6 p.m. (TV news time for him). Get a cordless as well as fixed phone.
- Keysafe Install a key box with combination lock outside the house for quick entrance/emergencies.
- List I have a list my the front door that I mentally check off before I leave for the day (e.g. Pills on nightstand, breakfast pills, new underpants, meal in fridge, empty commode, etc.).