Aging in Place Home Modifications

Aging in Place Home Modifications

This article shares a list of home modifications to make so you can age in place. From wider entries and doorways to bathroom and kitchen remodels, here are some of the best aging in place home modifications!

Why do Seniors Prefer Aging in Place?

More people are aging in place today than ever before, thanks to increased life expectancy and a plethora of favorable aspects for aging in our modern cultures, such as higher education levels, more later-life career options, and a declining poverty rate.

While living in an assisted living complex may be convenient, not everyone wants to relocate because they are older. For one, there’s the familiarity factor of living in your same home. Additionally, some people see moving into assisted living as losing their freedom.

Consider Aging in Place

While many seniors like the facilities and laid-back atmosphere of assisted living communities, the majority of older people choose to remain in place in their long-time homes or downsize in a retirement community.

Keep reading to discover more about how to make your house more aging-friendly, as well as assistive technologies that equip you with cutting-edge technology to utilize in your own home to retain your independence.

Home Modifications for Aging in Place

Choosing to age in place might be motivated by a desire to remain in your beloved home, surrounded by friends and family, as well as a desire to avoid the high costs of senior care communities.

While it may be challenging to imagine aging with your own home if it wasn't designed for long-term care, various options are available, both temporary and permanent.

Read on to learn about home improvements and assistive technology that may help you securely and comfortably age in place.

The Kitchen Design and Layout

Seniors may discover that their appliances are no longer in the best place and that their worktops and cupboards are too high, mainly if they use a wheelchair.

To make access from a sitting position more straightforward, professional contractors may need to come in and alter the counter height and lower the sink.

Furthermore, when microwaves are positioned in microwave stands rather than at the back of the counter or in high microwave cabinets, seniors aging in place find it more straightforward to use.

Ramps are a Must-Have

Getting up and down stairs may be difficult for seniors who are unstable on their feet or have balance concerns, so ramps are an essential home improvement that is well worth the money to provide them more freedom.

Consider hiring licensed professionals who are skilled in constructing and installing proper height and rise ramps for elders.

Portable Ramps

If you want a more temporary solution, there are portable versions of ramps on the market that are simple to set up on your own.

Doorway Threshold Ramps

Another home modification for aging in place are indoor ramps, one of the best house improvements for seniors who use wheelchairs. Indoor ramps enable seamless transitions from one surface to the next, making it safer to move throughout the house.

Because threshold ramps are often made of rubber, they may be readily adjusted to fit the step or door jamb height involved in the transition. 

Create Wider Entrances

Widening doors is a must-have home alteration for a senior who uses mobility aids like a walker or wheelchair to go about her house. The cost of enlarging entrances varies substantially depending on the insulation and location of electrical switches and outlets in the property. However, it can be well worth it for a senior to have easier access in-and-out of the home.

Use of Assistive Seating Technology

Consider getting out of your beloved recliner with the aid of an electric or self-powered raising seat, which gently tilts you forward to assist you in standing position. Often coated in thick memory foam, these seats may be used on a sofa, armchair, or office chair and are quite pleasant to sit in for long periods.

Straining to get up may easily overwork tight muscles, and concern about injuring yourself while attempting to get up can add to weariness and make you unpleasant. Investing in a day-to-day assistance gadget such as a lifting seat may help you be as comfortable as possible in your own home for as long as feasible.

Bathroom Modifications for Aging in Place

Bathtub Remodeling

A senior who wants to age in their own home should think about bathroom changes, especially the bathtub. One alternative is to swap the bathtub with a walk-in shower, which is much easier to enter and leave than a bathtub. A walk-in tub may be used instead of a regular bathtub as a second bathroom renovation option.

Safety Bars

Less costly adjustments may be made to reduce slips and falls in the bathtub if the senior wishes to maintain his present bathtub or cannot afford to replace it. Adding a safety bar to the tub is one improvement, while installing safety strips is another. Both of these easy changes may help you avoid slipping and falling in the bathtub.

Transfer Benches in Bathtubs and Showers

A bathtub transfer bench is another option for modifying the bathroom for aging in place, as it’s less costly than rebuilding the bathtub or shower.

These benches straddle the bathtub's side, allowing seniors to sit comfortably on the bench while transferring into the tub by raising each leg over the bathtub wall one at a time. Seniors who enter the tub while sitting have a lower chance of hazardous slips and falls.

Bathtub Chairs

If you do not have enough bathroom floor space to accommodate bathtub transfer bench legs, you might opt for bathtub chairs, which sit entirely within the tub. Seniors may be able to turn around and sit in the chair with both legs outside of the tub, then raise one leg at a time over the tub wall while sitting to enter and exit the tub comfortably and securely. 

What Floor Modifications Help You Age in Place?

Another factor for older persons making home changes to age in place is flooring. The first step is to assess the current flooring in the house. If your carpet is old and worn out, consider replacing it with shorter carpet or hard-surface flooring.

Some floor surfaces that are good for seniors aging in place or in wheelchairs include tile, vinyl, hardwood and laminate flooring. However, remember that these surfaces can become slippery when wet and provide less friction than carpet floors, so there is a safety trade off.

Beware of placing rugs over the hard surface flooring, as they can be dangerous to older folk. Either remove the rug or tape it down so you don’t slip and fall.

Stair Lifts and Other Assisted Lifts

If you don’t live in a single-story home, there are stair lifts that will carry you up and down the stairs. These can be great for seniors who want to age in place inside a two- or three-story house.

Electrically powered devices with excellent mechanical designs which help people get out of lying down, such as a tub or bed, are widely available in the market. Other kinds of lifts include a sit-to-stand lift, which may be a helpful tool when a lifting seat isn't providing the stability you need.

These gadgets usually remain put near your favorite seat and assist you in getting to a standing position—some have automated lifting. You hang on while others need you to actively pump the handles to pull yourself up, ensuring you don't lose your balance.

Medical Monitors and Alert Systems for Seniors

Using a medical warning system is the best way to stay in your own home as you become old. These monitor at-risk seniors and notify pre-determined contacts and emergency personnel if a fall occurs or the alarm button is pressed.

Whether you have caretakers at home, reside in an assisted living facility, or are aging in place at your home and want to be as independent as possible, a medical alert system may be a cost-effective yet life-saving solution.

Wearable Gadgets for Aging in Place

These alarm systems come in smartphone applications and wearable devices such as necklaces, hearing aids, watches or bracelets. Wearable types are often connected to a home base mounted on a wall or placed on a flat surface.

Many alarms have two-way speakers, enabling direct conversation between the wearer and their emergency contact. Others function like a doorbell, sounding an alarm in the home base when pressed. 

Wearable technology such as the high-tech Apple Watch or FitBit Ultra, may help you measure your activity level, as well as how much sleep you get, how much water you drink, and other health-related features. If you want a family member to help you age-in-place, the TruSense gadget is easy to operate and affordable.

Smart Home Technology for Aging in Place

Using smart home devices and AI technology can help you age in place as you get older. There are voice-controlled home gadgets like Amazon Echo and Google Home that are ideal for casual users who want help with automatic lighting, medicine and appointment reminders, media access, phoning friends, and purchasing groceries and household supplies when they run out.

You may also install smart doorbells at your front door that link to Alexa and provide a range of features, such as video surveillance, personalized ringtones, and two-way chats. A smartphone app may be used to set up and operate these devices.

Smart Lights

The dark can pose a significant risk to older adults who have trouble seeing or who could get injured if they trip and fall. One way to decrease your risk and increase your freedom is to use smart lights.

Lights that are programmed to automatically light up when you enter the room eliminate the stress of stumbling about until you reach the light switch.

Conclusion

When considering home modifications for seniors who are aging in place, the best plan of action is to think about all of the areas of the house that cause the greatest problems or anxiety. Modify items that are particularly challenging for the elderly, such as reaching counters or light switches.

If there are any possible tripping or falling dangers, they should be removed or modified. Taking a proactive approach to home modifications allows seniors to age in place while giving their loved one’s peace of mind knowing that their aging loved ones are secure in their homes.

More Resources

Post a Comment