Making the Home Safer for Aging in Place

Overcoming Physical Difficulties Through Home Alterations

Sometimes one's home becomes a problem when dealing with the difficulties of health issues related to aging. But with a few alterations to lighting, arranfements and fixtures, one's home can instead become the solution.

Below is a list of the physical difficulties along with a list of possible remedies.

  • ​​​​​Bath seat in tub or shower
  • ​​​​​Transfer bench or lift for bathtub
  • Walk-in shower or tub with door for walk-in​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Grab bars near the bath and toilet
  • ​​​​​Handrairs extended beyond the top and bottom of the stairs
  • ​​​​​No stairs to bedroom or bathroom
  • ​​​​​Phone in the bathroom
  • ​​​​​Dishwasher is ultra-quiet to reduce background noise
  • ​​​​​Increased volume ob phones
  • ​​​​​Smoke detecors with strobe lights
  • ​​​​​Doorbell with flashing light when rung
  • ​​​​​Elevated toilet or toilet seat
  • ​​​​​Lower kitchen cabinets 6 inches above the floor
  • ​​​​​Sink no more than 6 inches deep
  • ​​​​​Countertop that can be used while sitting
  • Smooth, slip-resistant floors​​​​​
  • Knee space under sinks, so someone can sit while washing​​​​​
  • Knee space under the stove, so someone can sit while cooking​​​​​
  • ​​​​​No area rugs
  • Ramp to front door with handrails on both sides​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Stairs with slip-resistant surface
  • ​​​​​Edge of counters that are a different color than the top
  • ​​​​​Edge of each step in a color that stands out
  • Well-lit stairs​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Steps that are a different color than the surrounding area
  • ​​​​​Increased wattage of light bulbs
  • Lights in all closets​​​​​
  • Well-lit outside walkways and entrances​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Stove controls clearly marked and easy to see Stove with different colors to tell which parts are hot
  • Under-the-cabinet lights over the kitchen counter ​​​​​
  • Automatic garage door opener ​​​​​
  • Cabinets and drawers with D-shape handles​​​​​
  • Smooth countertops so heavy pans can slide across them​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Doors with lever handles
  • Push-button controls on appliances​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Rocker light switches Sinks with lever faucet handles
  • ​​​​​Special hardware to make drawers slide easily
  • ​​​​​Spray hose to fill pots on the stove
  • Dishwasher eight inches from the floor ​​​​​
  • Cabinet shelves no more than 18 inches deep​​​​​
  • Closet organizer to reach belongings​​​​​
  • Closet rods that pull down to a comfortable level​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Front-loading clothes washer and dryer
  • ​​​​​Cooktop with easy-to-reach controls at the front
  • ​​​​​Electrical outlets 27 inches above the floor
  • ​​​​​Hand-held shower in bathroom Kitchen and closets with pull-down shelving
  • ​​​​​Lazy Susan to reach things stored on deep shelves
  • ​​​​​Microwave oven no higher than 48 inches above the floor
  • ​​​​​Oven doors that swing to the side
  • ​​​​​Pull-out shelves in the kitchen
  • Side-by-side refrigerator​​​​​
  • ​​​​​Sink controls on the side
  • Upper kitchen cabinets 48 inches from the floor​​​​​

When care is needed, Relevar Home Care can help, not only with a qualified caregiver, but by coordinating community services so living at home longer is possible. We can also provide a free in-home safety assessment and make recommendations for comfortably aging in place.
Source: Senior Resource

Web Resources:

Click the links below to access resource Web sites to find out more about making a home safer for aging in place.

Aging in Place
From products to make life easier, to major home modifications, this site offers information on tools to allow the elderly to remain at home throughout the aging process

Videos on Universal Design
This 5 part video series covers remodeling to include universal design home features, but the ideas showcase excellent examples of home features that provide for comfort and safety for all ages.

Aging at Home
Answers to many of the most common questions about aging in place are listed here, along with a chart with suggested implementations for a variety of specific challenges of the elderly.

Newsletter on Aging in Place
Go to this Web site to sign up for a newsletter about aging in place. Gadgets & Gizmos is one of their sections that is especially interesting.