Aging In Place

7/28/2010 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Home modifications allow seniors to remain comfortably in their homes enjoying their typical day to day activities despite the lifestyle changes that come with aging.

Listed below are home modification ideas from Seniors Guide – Your comprehensive guide to all things senior.

Prevent trips and falls by:

  • Removing or securing all carpets and area rugs with double-sided tape
  • Placing reflective, nonskid tape on uncarpeted stairs
  • Rearranging all extension cords and phone cords so that they are out of the walkway
  • Installing handrails along both sides of all stairs
  • Placing non-skid strips or decals in the tub or shower
  • Installing a shower seat
  • Placing a “comfort height” toilet seat to simplify the raising and lowering of themselves
  • Creating floor level entries to tubs and toilets

Accommodate decreased hand dexterity and strength by:

  • Replacing doorknobs and plumbing fixtures with lever handles
  • Replacing faucets with single-lever faucets
  • Installing easy-to-grasp handles on drawers & cabinet doors

Accommodate decreased eyesight by:

  • Installing night lights (night vision tends to diminish)
  • Using light colors when decorating (contrasting light colors help compensate for decreased depth perception)
  • Install task lighting for hobbies and activities ∗ Studies have found that staying engaged in hobbies helps to reduce the progression of aging in seniors

Accommodate loss of balance and flexibility by minimizing bending and stretching in the following ways:

  • Place a bench or table near outside doors for placing packages while opening the door
  • Eliminate changes in floor heights
  • Create floor level entries to tubs and toilets
  • Install hand-held showerheads and grab bars
  • Make other higher levels and basements accessible with elevators or stair lifts
  • Lower light switches
  • Raise electrical outlets
  • Modify cupboards to have slide in, slide out drawer features
  • Modify kitchen appliances
  • Modify countertops and sinks

When stairs become an obstacle, the main floor should accommodate most daily needs:

  • Move the washer & dryer downstairs
  • Have a room on the main floor as a designated sleeping area

Accommodate wheelchairs by:

  • Widening Doorways
  • Installing Ramps
  • Using hard surfaces for flooring (Carpeting can be more difficult to wheel through)
  • Eliminating changes in floor heights
  • Creating floor level entries to tubs and toilets
  • Installing hand-held showerheads and grab bars
  • Making other higher levels and basements accessible with elevators or stair lifts
  • Lowering light switches
  • Raising electrical outlets

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff