September 24, 2023


I Believe in Real Estate

Getting older in Place: Information to Residence 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 Pictures

In response to a nationwide ballot by the AARP, three out of four adults over age 50 need to “age in place” — or keep of their house as they grow old. Nevertheless, a ballot from the College of Michigan reported that solely 15% of seniors have severely thought of the way to 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 desirous to “age in place.” Or typically, the concept of constructing plans for the long run can simply really feel daunting. 

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

Why is Residence Security Essential for Seniors? 

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

Threat elements like vitamin D deficiency, the usage of sure drugs and difficulties strolling can result in falls. Nevertheless, house hazards like litter on the ground, uneven steps or slippery toilet flooring are critical fall dangers you can keep away from with some preparation. 

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

What’s Getting older in Place?

Getting older in place is once you select to remain in your house as you age slightly than transfer to a retirement group, assisted residing facility or nursing house. 

So as to age in place efficiently, it’s a must to anticipate your altering wants and put together accordingly. Though you’ll proceed residing in your house, it’s possible you’ll want further help caring for your self, doing chores, getting ready meals or usually shifting round your own home. 

Execs and Cons of Getting older in Place for the Aged

Everybody’s wants and residing conditions are totally different. As time passes, your wants will probably change as properly. When you do select to age in place, it’s best to reassess your wants usually with a detailed member of the family, good friend or caretaker to see in the event you want further help. 

Execs of Getting older in Place

  • Extra independence and autonomy in your personal house 
  • Extra consolation residing in your personal area 
  • Extra acquainted with the structure and options of your own home 
  • You’ll be able to keep linked along with your neighbors and group 

Cons of Getting older in Place

  • Getting round can turn out to be tougher as you grow old 
  • Navigating stairs and family risks can pose a threat
  • As growing old advances, caring for oneself and your own home can turn out to be difficult 
  • Assembly new individuals and discovering companionship could be more durable 

Caregivers and Getting older in Place

In case you are a caregiver for an older particular person, there’s an opportunity your tasks will change because the particular person you take care of ages. However your position can even change day-to-day. Whether or not you’re a good friend, member of the family or skilled caregiver, you’ll need to set up the wants of the particular person you’re caring for.  

Under are some baseline questions regarding family duties, accessibility and group you can evaluate with the particular person you’re caring for. The questions may help you identify if their house is secure to age in place and what stage of care is required. 

Family Duties 

  • Are you able to full family duties like garden care, grocery buying, cleansing and laundry with out help? 
  • Do you are feeling snug establishing your personal physician’s appointments, paying your personal payments and managing your funds? 
  • Can you plan and prepare dinner your personal meals, or do you want me or another person that can assist you with this? 
  • Do you might have a hygiene routine that you’ll be able to full every 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 secure strolling round your own home? 
  • Are there at the moment issues on the ground, slippery surfaces or uneven stairs that might result in a fall in your house? 
  • Do you are feeling snug driving or taking public transportation alone to get the place it is advisable go? 
  • What adjustments might we make in order that your own home is accessible and secure?
  • Do you are feeling lonely? How typically would you want somebody to test in on you? 
  • Do you might have a help community of buddies, neighbors, relations and care professionals? 
  • Can you talk along with your family members usually and in a means that’s snug for you? 

When you perceive the wants of the particular person you’re caring for, you possibly can create a schedule to test in and help the one you love as wanted. 

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

As a caregiver, navigating these conversations with a cherished one could be tough. Many individuals really feel embarrassed admitting they need assistance or don’t need to acknowledge that their wants are altering. Due to this, it’s possible you’ll not be capable of have a totally candid dialog concerning the questions above and even have the dialog in any respect. 

Nevertheless, as a caregiver, you should use different sources to make sure that you’re making the correct choices for the one you love. For starters, you possibly can attempt 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 particular person you’re caring for trusts, like somebody they dwell with, a really shut good friend or member of the family. This fashion, you may get extra perception into their every day life and struggles. 

Assets for Caregivers 

Being a caregiver could be irritating and tough, however additionally it is rewarding. As a caregiver, don’t neglect to deal with your self and discover a help group that can assist you navigate your tasks. 

Listed here are some prime sources for caregivers: 

Residence Security Guidelines and Renovation Ideas for Seniors 

Planning is essential to creating positive your own home is secure. Planning forward, discussing your wants and finishing repairs and aging-in-place reworking earlier than a critical accident happens could make aging-in-place a greater expertise for your self and everybody concerned. 

Residence Security for Seniors 

When you or a cherished one chooses to age in place, it’s necessary to evaluate the house’s security. Undergo the home fastidiously and contemplate 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 could possibly be a tripping or slipping hazard. When you’re apprehensive about falls, you should buy a medical alert bracelet or necklace. As a senior growing old in place, all the time retaining your cellphone on you is a good suggestion. You too can communicate along with your healthcare supplier about preemptively getting ready for a fall with train applications. 
  • Poisoning: Improperly utilizing or mixing drugs or cleansing merchandise could be dangerous or lethal. On the whole, maintain harsh cleansing merchandise like bleach out of the home. Have your pharmacist verify that you’re taking all medicine correctly and offer you large-print labels for tablet bottles. 
  • Scams: Numerous scams goal older individuals. Set up a recreation plan with the one you love about what you’ll do in the event 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 cellphone or on-line. In case you are unsure whether or not or not one thing is a rip-off, you possibly can all the time say that you’re going to get again to the particular person after checking the legitimacy of their enterprise. 

In fact, you need to put together for emergencies, nevertheless it’s greatest to keep away from them within the first place. You can also make many easy renovations to make sure your own home is secure and doesn’t pose a hazard to your self or your family members. 

Residence Renovations and Transforming for Seniors

Many properties aren’t designed to accommodate aged individuals or individuals with mobility issues. To age in place safely, caregivers and seniors should fastidiously contemplate the way to make the house secure, which might embody house enhancements and repairs. 

An AARP ballot discovered that seniors are almost certainly to renovate their bathrooms or entryways to boost their security within the house. Nevertheless, 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 Pictures

Rest room flooring and surfaces can turn out to be extraordinarily slippery, posing a critical falling threat. Different potential risks within the toilet embody burns from scalding scorching 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 toilet ground to alleviate the chance of falling on slippery tiles
  • Cut back the chance of burns by setting the water heater to a most temperature of 120 levels Fahrenheit, as advisable by the U.S. Shopper 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 rest room 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 can also 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 elevate, if it’s not 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 tissue wanted to get out and in of mattress


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

  • Including non-slip mats to forestall falls
  • Reducing the countertop peak 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 giant knives to keep away from cuts
  • Rounding out or cushioning sharp edges (like on counters) to forestall bumps

Residing Room

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

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

Common Ideas 

There are additionally basic precautions you possibly can apply all through the house to extend security, together with:  

  • Set up non-slip flooring that has ample cushioning and reduces slips. Thick carpet, cork, rubber, or vinyl are good choices
  • Change 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
  • When you use a wheelchair or walker, have the doorways widened for accessibility
  • Different basic house repairs like fixing damaged or uneven stairs to take away tripping hazards

4 Residence Enchancment Grants and Monetary Help for Senior Residents

Under are a number of federal, state and native monetary sources that provide backed or free house repairs for seniors. 

  • U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) Single Household Housing Restore Loans & Grants: The USDA has state-specific sources for house restore loans and grants. Though {qualifications} for these Part 504 Residence Restore Program loans differ, aged, low-income owners sometimes qualify. Be taught extra here
  • Space Companies on Getting older (AAAs): Though Space Companies on Getting older function regionally, they’re obtainable all through the U.S. to supply restore funds for senior house modifications. These applications are supplied via the Older People Act. Be taught 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. Be taught extra concerning the software course of here
  • Medicare and Medicaid: Your Medicaid might allow you to pay for senior house renovations to permit for secure growing old in place. You too can have medical tools coated, together with walkers and bathtub security benches. Contact your native Medicare or Medicaid workplace to be taught extra. 

3 Organizations That Assist With Getting older in Place for Aged

  • Nationwide Council on Getting older (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. Be taught extra here
  • Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity has an aging-in-place program that gives house repairs, modifications and group companies to enhance housing and well being fairness for seniors. Be taught extra here
  • Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels is a nationwide program that operates via 1000’s of locally-run volunteer teams. Meals on Wheels supplies wholesome meals and different sources to individuals in want. 
  • Study extra organizations that assist older individuals growing old 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 group 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 Pictures

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

  • Cosy Security app: Snug Safety is an app that enables seniors to test in every day on their telephones. If the senior doesn’t test 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, nevertheless it additionally permits seniors to share the placement of their cellphone, adjustments in every day actions, whether or not or not their cellphone is on and their cellphone’s battery stage. Moreover, the app will routinely notify emergency contacts if the senior contacts emergency companies.
  • Tile Tracker: The Tile Tracker may help seniors discover lacking objects. Simply obtain the app and join the bodily tile to a generally misplaced merchandise, like a pockets or purse. When you lose the merchandise, you should use your cellphone 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 group with out having to depart their properties. Be taught extra concerning the growing reputation of digital retirement communities here
  • Sensible plugs and locks: The rise of the “sensible house” can 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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