Aging In Place: Top Home Renovations For Older Adults Looking to Retire

Due to the rapidly aging population and the increased costs of senior care facilities, more and more people are opting to age in place than ever before.

At the same time, thanks to advances in technology, healthcare, and diet, seniors are enjoying a more active and vibrant lifestyle than previous generations.

However, no matter how active your loved ones may be, they may begin to experience certain mobility and cognitive issues that can deeply affect their everyday lives.

Luckily there are plenty of senior-friendly renovations you can make to help your loved ones stay at home well into their golden years. 

Aging In Place Vs. Assisted Living

It is no secret that moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home can be frightening and disheartening.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of stories of assisted care facilities not taking proper care of patients and treating residents poorly.

In addition, many older adults have worked hard their whole lives to raise a family and want to spend as many years as possible living in the home they created so many wonderful memories in. 

If your loved ones have no major underlining health conditions opting to age in place can help ensure their safety and mental well-being.

However, it is essential to make the necessary adjustments and home modifications to make their day function as easily as can be. 

If you have an aging loved one in your life who insists on living independently, it is best to safely accommodate them.

So whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a professional, here are the best senior-friendly home renovations you can start today. 

Widen The Doorways

senior-friendly renovations

If your loved one depends on a wheelchair to get around, you may have to consider widening the doorways in your home.

According to OSHA, the minimum size of doorways is only 28 inches which makes it hard for a wheelchair to swiftly pass through.

It is recommended that doorways should expand to at least 32 inches to make them wheelchair accessible. Luckily widening doorways is not entirely difficult and can be easy on the pockets. 

Put Grab Bars In The Bathroom

As your loved one ages, mobility can become a significant issue making it hard for them to get off of chairs, couches, and of course, the toilet.

However, placing grab bars in the bathroom can help your loved ones stand up without falling. In addition, consider placing extra grab bars in the bathtub to prevent slipping while taking a shower. 

Replace Floor With Slip Resistant Material

As stated above, mobility can become an issue as your loved one ages, making them prone to slipping and falling.

Unfortunately, hardwood floors can become slippery and pose a great danger to your elderly family members. However, there is special flooring they use in nursing homes that help reduce the risk of falling.

Popular nonslip flooring materials include vinyl, linoleum, bamboo, and cork. Not only are these materials non-slip, but they are softer than hardwood flooring providing a more forgiving floor if your loved one were to fall. 

Install Lever Doorknobs

Traditional doorknobs require a twisting motion that can make it difficult for elders to open doors. If they can’t open a door, there is a risk of getting stuck inside a room.

Replacing your doorknobs with lever-style models makes it easy to open and close doors. In addition, lever-style doorknobs are extremely helpful for family members suffering from arthritis and other mobility issues. 

Install A Wheelchair Ramp

Even if your loved one does not use a wheelchair, replacing the front stairs with a ramp can be extremely beneficial.

Stairs can be difficult to climb and put your loved one at a higher risk of falling or hurting their knees. Installing a ramp with a railing makes it easy for your loved one to reach the front door without suffering any pain. 

Install A Chair Lift

Of course, most homes have more than one layer and require stairs to get to one place or another. If your loved one depends on a wheelchair or has issues getting up and down tall staircases, you should consider installing a chair lift. 

While more expensive than the previous renovations, a chair lift can drastically change your loved one’s lifestyle.

A chairlift will help your loved one get from one floor or another without the burden of asking for help or dealing with excruciating pain. 

Adjust Kitchen Countertops

Sometimes our home’s countertops are too tall, making them inaccessible for family members in wheelchairs.

Installing countertops and cabinets at a lower height can help your loved ones prepare a meal or grab a glass of water without putting too much strain on their bodies.

In addition, consider putting guards on the counter corners to protect your loved ones if they were to fall into the counter. 

Follow These Tips

Following these tips and making these senior-friendly renovations can help your loved ones live a safe and happy life as they choose to age independently in the comfort of their own home. 

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