Home Modifications for Older Adults: 10 Upgrades That Enhance Safety and Comfort

Making the appropriate home modifications for older adults will help our loved ones live independently and in the comfort of their own home.
home modifications for older adults

As we age, our bodies change, and we may no longer be able to do the things we used to do. This is true for our aging parents, who may face several age-related challenges such as arthritis, vision problems, and balance issues. These challenges can make everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, and bathing difficult or even impossible for many seniors.

Proper home modifications for older adults can help our loved ones stay independent by making their homes more accessible and easier to maneuver. For example, adding grab bars in showers or adding a stairlift can allow seniors to bathe safely and independently. Making these modifications can profoundly impact an older adult’s quality of life. In addition to increasing independence, home modification can also help reduce the risk of falls and other accidents.

Which Home Modifications For Older Adults Should You Invest In?

There are many home modification options available, and the best choice for you will depend on your specific needs and challenges. We’ve listed 10 home modifications that are perfect for seniors. These upgrades will help your loved ones live more independently and keep them safe from potential hazards. 

1) Widened Doorways

widening doorways is a good home modification for older adults

One home modification that can make a big difference for seniors is widening doorways. This is especially important if they use a wheelchair or walker, as narrow doorways can be difficult or even impossible to maneuver. By widening doorways, they’ll have more room to move around and won’t have to worry about getting stuck.

2) Ramps

ramps are important home modifications for seniors

Ramps can be extremely helpful for older adults to get around their homes. They provide a safe and easy way to enter and exit the house and can also be used to move groceries and other items. Ramps can be made of various materials, including wood, metal, and concrete, and can be customized to fit the needs of any home.

3) Walk-In Tubs

walk-in tub

A walk-in tub might be the ideal solution if your loved one has trouble getting in and out of a standard bathtub. Walk-in tubs are specially designed to make bathing safer and more accessible for seniors. This type of tub has a door that allows the user to walk into the tub without having to lift their legs over the side.

This can be especially helpful for older adults with arthritis or other conditions that make it difficult to get in and out of a conventional bathtub. They typically have low thresholds and built-in seats, making it possible to bathe without lifting your legs over the side of the tub.

4) Curbless Showers

curbless shower

Another excellent option for older adults who have difficulty bathing is a curbless shower. Curbless showers are designed to be wheelchair accessible and have a low threshold, making it easy to get in and out of the shower.

Curbless showers are a type of shower that doesn’t have a curb or lip around the edge. This can make bathing safer, as there is no risk of stumbling or falling. Curbless showers often have grab bars and built-in seats, further increasing safety and making bathing easier for those with limited mobility.

5) Personal Alarms

alert buttons may not be a home modification, but they are still necessary for seniors

Personal alarms are another home modification that can be helpful for our loved ones as they age. If they fall or get injured, a personal alarm can help tremendously. Personal alarms are designed to be a lifesaver in such situations. They usually make a loud noise that can attract attention, so anyone nearby can come to their aid. They can also be used to call for help if they need it.

6) Smart Home Devices

smart home devices are an amazing technology for seniors to have in their homes

Smart home devices are an excellent option for seniors who want to live more independently. Smart home devices can control things like lights, door locks, and thermostats. They can also be used to monitor activities like cooking and bathing. By investing in smart home devices, you can make their home more convenient and easier to manage.

7) Stairlifts

stairlifts are important if your parents live in a two story home

If their home has stairs, a stairlift can be a lifesaver. Stairlifts are a great solution for people who have difficulty climbing stairs. They can make life much easier by providing a safe and easy way to get up and down the stairs. They can be installed on both straight and curved staircases, and they’ll take your loved one up and down the stairs with ease.

8) Grab Bars

grab bars are classic home modifications for older adults

Installing grab bars in strategic locations around the home can help prevent falls and other accidents. For seniors, grab bars can provide much-needed support and stability. Grab bars are an essential home modification for older adults who have balance issues or are at risk of falling. It’s possible to install grab bars in various locations, such as in the shower, next to the toilet, near the staircase, or even near a bed or couch – really anywhere that might require a bit of extra effort and balance.

9) Non-Slip Flooring

non-slip flooring is important to make a home safe for seniors

Another home modification that can help prevent falls is non-slip flooring. This type of flooring is designed to provide more traction and stability than traditional flooring. When it comes to choosing flooring for areas prone to spills, non-slip options are always a good idea.

This type of flooring can help prevent accidents and keep your space looking clean and tidy. There are various non-slip flooring options available on the market, so you can find one that suits your needs and preferences.

10) Motion Sensor Lights

motion sensor light

One final home modification that can be helpful for older adults is the installation of automatic lights. This is useful if they have difficulty seeing in low-light conditions. Automated lights can be installed in various locations, such as hallways, stairways, and bathrooms. These lights don’t require them to fumble for a switch, and they’ll turn on automatically when needed.

As a result, you won’t have to worry about your loved one stumbling around in the dark or leaving lights on when they don’t need them. They can also help save on your energy bill, as they’ll only turn on when someone is in the room and you can set them to turn off shortly afterwards.

Wrapping Up

So many home modifications can help seniors live more independently and safely. These are just some of the most popular options. In the end, the best home modification is the one that meets your loved one’s needs and preferences.

Before shopping for home modifications, it’s essential to consult with a professional. They can help you assess your needs and make recommendations right for you. With their help, you can find the perfect home modification to make life easier.

Have another question? Ask an expert.

Our team is here for you. If you have a question about caring for an older adult or other member of your family—be it physical, legal, medical, financial, or anything in between—we’ll have one of our Trusted Advisors get back to you ASAP.

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