Staying in their homes as they age is what many older adults want. To maintain health and independence for as long as possible, it’s essential to make it a safe and convenient place to live. Our friends at Seniorly share tips on important home modifications for seniors.
How to Retrofit Your Home for Seniors
Today nearly 90% of people aged 65 and older express the desire to age independently and in place. However, this can increase the risk of fall-related medical emergencies. Fortunately, there are some great ways that you can retrofit your home to better suit the safety needs of seniors. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Review Your Floor plan
First or second floor…
If you have a two-story home, you might want to try to arrange the home so that your senior is able to stay on the lower level. Steps and stairs are often dangerous for seniors to navigate.
A wheelchair ramp may need to be built to allow your loved one access to your home. These typically cost between $1,500 and $2,000 depending upon where you live and who constructs the ramp.
Make sure you measure the width of the wheelchair or walker and compare that to the width of your hallways and doorways. If the two do not match, one or the other will need to be adjusted. Consult a contractor for information and pricing for door modifications.
Replace any round doorknobs with newer, lever-style door handles. These are easier to open for older individuals whose hands may be cramped with arthritis. Handles can reasonably be replaced for $10-20 per door.
If you have floor rugs, you may need to consider removing them or adding non-slip surfaces under the rugs to make them more secure. You can also add non-slip mats to your bathtubs to make it easier for seniors to shower without the risk of falling. Both rug and tub grips can be added to your home for less than $15 each, on average.
Add small grab bars to each bathroom to give your loved ones a bit of extra stability. This can make bathrooms more accessible to seniors, while keeping them safe at the same time. Grab bars can be added for less than $20 each, typically.
If you do have steps or stairs that your senior won’t be able to avoid, be sure to add railings or supports. These will be critical to your loved one’s safety. The cost will depend upon the type of railing you add and if you use a contractor to complete the renovation.
If your family is concerned about the dangers of aging in place, you may want to consider a community that’s designed to promote senior safety. Seniorly has the most up-to-date information on local communities with the best care options and amenities to help your loved one age well. Sign up for free and gain Seniorly as your partner in the search for elder care! For more tips on how to keep your loved one safe at home, check out How to Know if Your Loved One is at Risk for a Fall on the Seniorly website.
Image: Remain at Home Senior Care