Aging in Place: Home Modification

With the great majority of seniors deciding to continue to live at home during aging, it’s crucial to carry out an extensive home assessment to search for and correct any hazards and ensure the seniors you love remain secure and safe. The easiest way to make this happen is to begin outside the home and move your way in, room by room, visualizing what your experience would be in each location if you struggled with the likely challenges that occur when we get older, such as with vision or balance.

Listed here are some aging in place home modification ideas for every area of the home to help you get started:

Outside:

  • Assess sidewalks and other walking areas for uneven pavement, loose bricks, cracks, leaves, along with other debris
  • Make sure the address number, on the mailbox and/or on the home itself, is clearly visible in case emergency responders need to locate the home
  • If there are stairs or a ramp leading up to the front door, a handrail should be mounted on both sides

Foyer/Entryway:

  • Remove any clutter, cords, or any other items which might cause someone to trip
  • Utilize a no-trip threshold in the doorway
  • Be sure there is adequate lighting, and a small table to put mail, a purse, and other items when entering the residence

Kitchen:

  • Keep frequently-used items in easy-to-reach locations
  • Make use of Lazy Susans, pull out cabinets, and shelves for better access
  • Use touch, sensor, or lever handles rather than knobs that turn

Bathroom:

  • Set water temperature to no higher than 120 degrees F
  • Mount grab bars beside the toilet, in the tub/shower, and in any other strategic locations
  • Consider a higher toilet, or add a toilet seat riser, along with a shower chair and handheld shower wand
  • Always utilize non-slip strips in the bathtub as well as on the floor, and remove any throw rugs or mats (or ensure they’re firmly fastened to the floor)

Bedroom:

  • Place nightlights both within the bedroom itself, as well as in the hallway leading to the bathroom
  • Clear away any obstacles between the bed and doorway, and any other places within the room where the older adult may move about
  • Replace throw rugs with carpeting

Throughout the home, ensure that walkways are clear and large enough to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. It’s equally important to put in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, testing them periodically and replacing batteries at least every 6 months.

It is also a good idea to consider an emergency response pendant for your senior loved one to wear, which can be activated to call for help in case of a fall, as well as other emergencies.

Most importantly, partner with an established and reliable home care provider, like the Barrington caregivers at Inspired Home Care. We’re here to offer a home safety assessment and recommend further actions which can be taken to make sure your senior loved one remains safe, as well as provide a wide variety of in-home care services, customized to each individual’s unique needs. See our full service area.

Give us a call at 847-787-7572 any time for more information!