How to Check the Structural Integrity of Your Elderly Parent’s Home
Providing for elderly parents is both a privilege and a challenge. Even if they do not live with you, making sure they are well cared for and have what they need is a top priority. For many older adults, remaining in their own homes rather than requiring nursing home care means a great time to them. However, structural issues may be a concern. The following tips can help you check the structural integrity of your parent’s home and address any issues that may exist.
Structural Issues That Can Endanger Older Adults
Aging Care advises that for older adults, the desire to remain in their own home goes beyond whatever emotional attachment they have for the property. It represents self-sufficiency and independence for them while ensuring they have a certain level of privacy. It is also likely to be the place they feel most physically comfortable, surrounded by familiar items and memorabilia they have accumulated over the years.
Unfortunately, the older your parents get, the more likely they are to neglect maintenance tasks and ignore problems that arise around their home. This can end up having a snowball effect, where seemingly minor repair issues become major structural issues. In addition to impacting their comfort, it can also endanger their safety, making accidental injuries and illnesses more likely to occur. Problems that can be particularly dangerous for older adults include:
- Cracked floorboards, which present trip and fall hazards;
- Loose wiring, which increases electrocution and fire risks;
- Old or damaged gas lines, which could cause deadly fumes to escape into the home;
- Thinning or rusted water pipes, which could burst in cold weather conditions;
- Areas that feel damp or smell of mold, which could pose serious respiratory problems.
Conducting a Structural Integrity Safety Check
If you have concerns about the structural integrity of your elderly parent’s home, you may want to call in the professionals to conduct a safety inspection. If you are visiting and want to check the property yourself first, do-it-yourself home repair expert Bob Vila advises looking for any of the following issues:
- Holes in wood or drywall, which could indicate a termite infestation;
- Sloping floors, which could indicate problems with the joists;
- Flickering lights and a strange smell coming from outlets, which indicate wiring issues;
- Cracks in walls and doors or cabinets that will not close, which could indicate a shifting foundation;
- Cracks in windows, which are due to structural shifts that put pressure on the glass.
Additional signs of foundation issues include a leaning or cracked chimney and porches or stairs that are slowly pulling away from the home. Other major problems to look for include soft or ‘bouncy’ floors and sounds of dripping beneath the surface of sinks or toilets, which could indicate water leaks.
Let Us Help You Today
At Cavallo & Cavallo, we can help you in addressing the various issues that go along with having aging parents. Contact our Bronx & Westchester Medicaid & nursing home attorneys and request a consultation in our office today.