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Home Improvements for Aging in Place

Independent living communities and assisted living costs are skyrocketing, making younger baby-boomers wonder if they are going to be able to afford these options as they age, so they are exploring other ideas.

According to an AARP study, about 77% of people polled over the age of 50 said they wanted to remain in their homes for the long term or age in place. There are social media posts about friend groups who purchase a large home for this reason, choosing to live together and share the cost of aides, nursing care, and other home expenses.

If you love the home you’re in, and want to stay there, here are the improvements you will need to make in order to ensure your safety.

Rethink Stairs

A single-floor home is a wise choice for aging in place. If you're purchasing a home, consider a ranch-style house that doesn't have exterior stairs from the sidewalk or driveway.

If you have a multi-level home, you'll need to address stairs. Install a chair lift or consider an elevator.

The Bathroom
  • Add grab bars for the shower, toilet, and area over the toilet.

  • Installing a curbless shower with a hand wand. This allows a wheelchair or walker safely into the shower so that elders can bathe alone for longer.

The Bedroom
  • If your bed is too high, or especially low, change to a bed of a different height that’s easier to get into or out of.

  • Non-slip floors, especially next to the bed, prevent slips and falls

  • Good lighting is essential.

The Kitchen
  • Upgrades here concern height to that you are not bending over, or reaching up too high.

  • Pull-out pantries, pull-down shelves, and shallow sinks allow for better accessibility.

  • Widen doorways to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs

  • Make sure carpeting is secure at the edges of the rooms by using double stick tape.

  • All rooms can benefit from installing levers instead of knobs on all your doors. Levers are easier to use than knobs because they require less dexterity.

There are various smart-home technologies that rely on voice commands, which can facilitate everything from calling neighbors to ordering groceries. To age safely and comfortably at home, embrace smart-home technology to help ease the physical and mental burden of daily tasks.


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