September 26, 2023


New Estate

Information to House Renovations and Enchancment for Seniors

12 min read
Retired couple in modern kitchen on the weekend, woman surfing the web, man holding frying pan and serving scrambled eggs
Credit score: 10’000 Hours / Getty Photos

Based on a nationwide ballot by the AARP, three out of four adults over age 50 wish to “age in place” — or keep of their residence as they grow old. Nonetheless, a ballot from the College of Michigan reported that solely 15% of seniors have significantly thought of how you can renovate their properties to accommodate their wants as they age.

Why the disconnect? Many seniors aren’t positive if they’ll afford to rent assist or renovate their properties. Others imagine they will eventually have to move anyway, regardless of eager to “age in place.” Or generally, the concept of creating plans for the longer term can simply really feel daunting. 

Fortunately, many sources can be found to assist seniors dwell safely of their properties. 

Why is House Security Essential for Seniors? 

The overwhelming majority of individuals wish to proceed dwelling of their properties as they grow old. Nonetheless, properties can pose accessibility points and security dangers for older folks. One main threat for seniors dwelling of their properties is falling: 

Danger elements like vitamin D deficiency, the usage of sure medicines and difficulties strolling can result in falls. Nonetheless, residence hazards like litter on the ground, uneven steps or slippery toilet flooring are severe fall dangers that you would be able to keep away from with some preparation. 

Houses could be designed with security in thoughts, and residential enhancements for seniors can cut back the chance of falls and improve accessibility. Regardless of this, solely 36% of respondents in an AARP ballot stated they plan to renovate their home to allow them to proceed dwelling there as they age.

What’s Growing old in Place?

Growing old in place is if you select to remain in your house as you age relatively than transfer to a retirement neighborhood, assisted dwelling facility or nursing residence. 

With a view to age in place efficiently, it’s important to anticipate your altering wants and put together accordingly. Though you’ll proceed dwelling in your house, you could want extra help caring for your self, doing chores, getting ready meals or typically transferring round your house. 

Professionals and Cons of Growing old in Place for the Aged

Everybody’s wants and dwelling conditions are completely different. As time passes, your wants will doubtless change as nicely. In the event you do select to age in place, it is best to reassess your wants repeatedly with a detailed member of the family, good friend or caretaker to see should you want extra help. 

Professionals of Growing old in Place

  • Extra independence and autonomy in your individual residence 
  • Extra consolation dwelling in your individual house 
  • Extra accustomed to the format and options of your house 
  • You possibly can keep linked together with your neighbors and neighborhood 

Cons of Growing old in Place

  • Getting round can turn into tougher as you grow old 
  • Navigating stairs and family risks can pose a threat
  • As getting older advances, caring for oneself and your house can turn into difficult 
  • Assembly new folks and discovering companionship could be more durable 

Caregivers and Growing old in Place

If you’re a caregiver for an older individual, there’s an opportunity your obligations will change because the individual you take care of ages. However your function also can change day-to-day. Whether or not you’re a good friend, member of the family or skilled caregiver, you’ll wish to set up the wants of the individual you’re caring for.  

Under are some baseline questions regarding family duties, accessibility and neighborhood that you would be able to evaluation with the individual you’re caring for. The questions may also help you identify if their house is protected to age in place and what degree of care is required. 

Family Duties 

  • Are you able to full family duties like garden care, grocery purchasing, cleansing and laundry with out help? 
  • Do you are feeling comfy organising your individual physician’s appointments, paying your individual payments and managing your funds? 
  • Can you plan and cook dinner your individual meals, or do you want me or another person that can assist you with this? 
  • Do you have got a hygiene routine that you’ll be able to full day by day? Do you keep in mind to take your drugs and accomplish that safely? 


  • Are you able to stroll up the steps safely and with ease? Do you are feeling protected strolling round your house? 
  • Are there presently issues on the ground, slippery surfaces or uneven stairs that might result in a fall in your house? 
  • Do you are feeling comfy driving or taking public transportation alone to get the place you have to go? 
  • What modifications may we make in order that your house is accessible and protected?
  • Do you are feeling lonely? How usually would you want somebody to verify in on you? 
  • Do you have got a help community of pals, neighbors, relations and care professionals? 
  • Can you talk together with your family members repeatedly and in a manner that’s comfy for you? 

When you perceive the wants of the individual you’re caring for, you’ll be able to create a schedule to verify in and help the one you love as wanted. 

African American woman pushing father in wheelchair
Credit score: Terry Vine / Getty Photos

As a caregiver, navigating these conversations with a liked one could be tough. Many individuals really feel embarrassed admitting they need assistance or don’t wish to acknowledge that their wants are altering. Due to this, you could not have the ability to have a very candid dialog in regards to the questions above and even have the dialog in any respect. 

Nonetheless, as a caregiver, you should use different sources to make sure that you’re making the suitable choices for the one you love. For starters, you’ll be able to strive getting the consent of the one you love to attend a physician’s appointment with them to debate their wants. 

You too can communicate to somebody that the individual you’re caring for trusts, like somebody they dwell with, a really shut good friend or member of the family. This fashion, you will get extra perception into their day by day life and struggles. 

Assets for Caregivers 

Being a caregiver could be annoying and tough, however additionally it is rewarding. As a caregiver, don’t overlook to maintain your self and discover a help group that can assist you navigate your obligations. 

Listed below are some prime sources for caregivers: 

House Security Guidelines and Renovation Ideas for Seniors 

Planning is vital to creating positive your house is protected. Planning forward, discussing your wants and finishing repairs and aging-in-place reworking earlier than a severe accident happens could make aging-in-place a greater expertise for your self and everybody concerned. 

House Security for Seniors 

In the event you or a liked one chooses to age in place, it’s necessary to evaluate the house’s security. Undergo the home rigorously and take into account sure security elements like falls, poisoning and scams. Make a plan about what to do in case of an emergency. 

  • Falls: Transfer something off the bottom that may very well be a tripping or slipping hazard. In the event you’re frightened about falls, you should buy a medical alert bracelet or necklace. As a senior getting older in place, at all times preserving your telephone on you is a good suggestion. You too can communicate together with your healthcare supplier about preemptively getting ready for a fall with train applications. 
  • Poisoning: Improperly utilizing or mixing medicines or cleansing merchandise could be dangerous or lethal. Generally, maintain harsh cleansing merchandise like bleach out of the home. Have your pharmacist affirm that you’re taking all medicine correctly and offer you large-print labels for capsule bottles. 
  • Scams: Numerous scams goal older folks. Set up a recreation plan with the one you love about what you’ll do should you obtain a suspicious name or somebody reveals up at your door. By no means open the door to strangers or allow them to in your house, and by no means share private data over the telephone or on-line. If you’re unsure whether or not or not one thing is a rip-off, you’ll be able to at all times say that you’ll get again to the individual after checking the legitimacy of their enterprise. 

In fact, you wish to put together for emergencies, however it’s greatest to keep away from them within the first place. You may make many easy renovations to make sure your house is protected and doesn’t pose a hazard to your self or your family members. 

House Renovations and Transforming for Seniors

Many properties are usually not designed to accommodate aged folks or folks with mobility issues. To age in place safely, caregivers and seniors should rigorously take into account how you can make the house protected, which may embrace residence enhancements and repairs. 

An AARP ballot discovered that seniors are most probably to renovate their bathrooms or entryways to reinforce their security within the residence. Nonetheless, each room in a home could be modified for security relying on the distinctive wants of the one that lives there. 


Hand holding a handle with suction cups on bathroom tiles.
Credit score: Baac3nes / Getty Photos

Lavatory flooring and surfaces can turn into extraordinarily slippery, posing a severe falling threat. Different potential risks within the toilet embrace burns from scalding sizzling water and falls from getting on and off the bathroom. So, how are you going to repair this? 

  • Set up seize bars across the tub and a bathe seat for consolation and accessibility
  • Add non-slip mats within the bathe and on the lavatory flooring to alleviate the chance of falling on slippery tiles
  • Scale back the chance of burns by setting the water heater to a most temperature of 120 levels Fahrenheit, as beneficial by the U.S. Client Product Security Fee (CPSC)9
  • Set up good lighting, together with a nightlight, for improved visibility and to forestall disorientation
  • Set up an ADI-compliant raised bathroom seat with seize bars to make sitting on and getting off the bathroom simpler
  • Set up a walk-in tub or bathe 

Bed room

The principle challenges in a bed room could be getting out and in of mattress and climbing upstairs to entry the room. You may make the bed room safer by:

  • Shifting the bed room downstairs to keep away from stairs (if the bed room is upstairs)
  • Putting in a house stair carry, if it isn’t attainable to maneuver the bed room downstairs
  • Putting in seize bars above the mattress to assist get out and in 
  • Practicing exercises that assist preserve stability and muscle tissues wanted to get out and in of mattress


The kitchen is a high-risk space for burns, cuts and falls. You may make the kitchen safer and extra user-friendly by: 

  • Including non-slip mats to forestall falls
  • Decreasing the countertop top and putting in pullout drawers for wheelchair accessibility 
  • Including a piece desk within the kitchen (if it isn’t attainable to decrease the counter tops)
  • Placing away very sharp or massive knives to keep away from cuts
  • Rounding out or cushioning sharp edges (like on counters) to forestall bumps

Dwelling Room

Though dwelling rooms don’t pose as a lot threat as different areas in the home, a cluttered or cramped dwelling house could make the lounge inaccessible or hazardous. Keep away from risks by: 

  • Choosing any pointless gadgets off the ground
  • Shifting furnishings to create a extra open flooring plan 
  • Securing rugs utilizing rug gripper or tape in order that they don’t fold or bubble up 

Normal Ideas 

There are additionally common precautions you’ll be able to apply all through the house to extend security, together with:  

  • Set up non-slip flooring that has adequate cushioning and reduces slips. Thick carpet, cork, rubber, or vinyl are good choices
  • Exchange door handles from knobs to lever latches for simpler turning and improved grip 
  • Enhance lighting all through the home to make sure rooms are well-lit. Dim rooms, particularly at evening, can result in disorientation, collisions, and falls
  • In the event you use a wheelchair or walker, have the doorways widened for accessibility
  • Different common residence repairs like fixing damaged or uneven stairs to take away tripping hazards

4 House Enchancment Grants and Monetary Help for Senior Residents

Under are a couple of federal, state and native monetary sources that supply sponsored or free residence repairs for seniors. 

  • U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) Single Household Housing Restore Loans & Grants: The USDA has state-specific sources for residence restore loans and grants. Though {qualifications} for these Part 504 House Restore Program loans range, aged, low-income owners sometimes qualify. Study extra here
  • Space Companies on Growing old (AAAs): Though Space Companies on Growing old function regionally, they’re out there all through the U.S. to supply restore funds for senior residence modifications. These applications are offered via the Older People Act. Study extra and discover your native AAA here
  • Weatherization Help Packages (WAPs): WAPs provide low-income and aged households vitality effectivity upgrades via grant funding. These applications present companies like caulking, HVAC upkeep, insulation and extra to assist households save on vitality payments. Study extra in regards to the utility course of here
  • Medicare and Medicaid: Your Medicaid might assist you to pay for senior residence renovations to permit for protected getting older in place. You too can have medical gear lined, together with walkers and bathtub security benches. Contact your native Medicare or Medicaid workplace to be taught extra. 

3 Organizations That Assist With Growing old in Place for Aged

  • Nationwide Council on Growing old (NCOA): The NCOA has helped safe landmark applications and laws that assist seniors, like Medicare, Medicaid and the Older People Act. They provide instruments, sources and companies to enhance the livelihood of older adults. Study extra here
  • Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity has an aging-in-place program that gives residence repairs, modifications and neighborhood companies to enhance housing and well being fairness for seniors. Study extra here
  • Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels is a nationwide program that operates via hundreds of locally-run volunteer teams. Meals on Wheels supplies wholesome meals and different sources to folks in want. 
  • Study extra organizations that assist older folks getting older in place here

Older adults are embracing know-how now greater than ever. AARP’s 2022 tech survey discovered that three in 4 older adults use know-how to remain linked. The senior neighborhood has seen a rise in the usage of nearly all technologies lately, together with video chat, texting and social media.

Senior couple using laptop in kitchen of suburban home
Credit score: MoMo Productions / Getty Photos

As older adults turn into extra comfy incorporating know-how into their day by day lives, extra tech instruments designed to assist seniors navigate their lives have hit the market. Listed below are a few of the greatest (and most reasonably priced) tech instruments for elder security: 

  • Cosy Security app: Snug Safety is an app that enables seniors to verify in day by day on their telephones. If the senior doesn’t verify in as soon as a day, the app will message their emergency contacts to alert them that they could need assistance. 
  • Full of life Hyperlink app: Full of life Hyperlink can also be a check-in app for seniors, however it additionally permits seniors to share the situation of their telephone, modifications in day by day actions, whether or not or not their telephone is on and their telephone’s battery degree. Moreover, the app will mechanically notify emergency contacts if the senior contacts emergency companies.
  • Tile Tracker: The Tile Tracker may also help seniors discover lacking gadgets. Simply obtain the app and join the bodily tile to a generally misplaced merchandise, like a pockets or purse. In the event you lose the merchandise, you should use your telephone to activate an alarm on the misplaced merchandise. 
  • Digital retirement communities: Digital retirement communities let seniors benefit from the actions and connection of a retirement neighborhood with out having to go away their properties. Study extra in regards to the rising reputation of digital retirement communities here
  • Sensible plugs and locks: The rise of the “sensible residence” may also be handy for seniors. Now you can management lights, plugs, locks and extra in your house with easy gadgets that connect with your smartphone.

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