Follow us:
By : Elizabeth Humbal, 11-06-2015

Modifying homes and making them safer and more accessible allows the elderly to stay independently in their homes during their twilight years. There are a variety of remodeling ideas for aging in place since most homes are not set up well for living independently as we grow older. To successfully age in your own home it must be aligned with both your physical and mental capabilities to ensure safety at all times. Here are important features for a great home prepared for retirement:  

House Cleaning Services
A recent survey of people over the age of 75 revealed that 95% of them planned to stay in their homes indefinitely. Although some have little or no trouble performing basic household chores most seniors find such tasks gradually more difficult as they age which increases the likelihood of serious injury. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), each year approximately one in three adults over 65 suffers from a fall related injury each year. Falls are not only the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma, but also the leading cause of injury death in adults over the age of 65.

One way to help prevent injuries and provide some relief to seniors living at home is to hire a regular cleaning service to help with chores they are no longer able to do themselves. In addition to helping a senior keep their home clean and improving a senior's quality of life, a house cleaning service also provides seniors an opportunity for social interaction. Often seniors become less able to leave their homes as they get older, leading to loneliness and depression. Regular interaction with others, even occasional visits from a house cleaning service, can help to reduce these feelings of loneliness. 

Bedroom and Bathroom Entry Level Access
With growing older, comes a fair share of physical challenges. Therefore, the potential for engaging in activities like sleeping, bathing, and eating on a home's entry level is important to the elderly interested in independent living. 

Wheelchair Accessible Kitchen
It's also important to lower the wall and floor cabinets to have easier access and visibility to their contents. It may also be helpful to install pullout shelves. Have an open space beneath the stovetop and the sink to give you an access to these amenities without having a wide gap. 

Raised Toilet Seats
A raised toilet seat or addition of a riser or lifter offers a solution if the height of the toilets in the home create a challenge. Risers or lifters can add about three to five inches to your toilet seat's height, making it easier for you to sit down and get up. It can be difficult to realize how important extra height is until you're in need of assistance due to a disability or a temporary injury.

Walk-in Bathtubs
Many injuries happen in the bathroom when an elderly person is trying to navigate a bath or shower. The required physical strength and movement required to navigate standard basins can be underestimated, resulting in falls that can be devastating to a persons health. This can easily be remedied with the installation of a walk-in bathtub.

Door Handles
Doorknobs are best replaced them with lever style door handles as they are easier to turn to open a door. With a lever door handle, only a little downward pressure is necessary to easily unlatch a door. This hardware is especially valuable for persons suffering from reduced strength, movement or arthritis. 

Wide Doorways and Hallways
For those who are in, or anticipate needing a wheelchair, it’s best to widen doorways to ensure ease of access. Make sure there is at least 2 inches on each side of a standard wheelchair when entering a doorway or hallway, to ensure there will be enough space for turning around. When looking at a wheelchair's dimensions, also consider the wheels because several wheelchair specifications may pertain to the wheelchair seat's width and not the entire chair. 

Home modifications can help ease the physical challenges that senior loved ones may face without turning the home into a clinical setting. By adapting our living environment for aging in place through modifications, it can make our homes safer, more comfortable and user friendly. If you need help with making modifications, you can always submit a free request to find a home modification expert.

Share on