Top 5 Home Modifications for Aging Adults

Top 5 Home Modifications for Aging Adults 

Keeping your aging loved one in their home for as long as possible is one of the main concerns for those caring for an elderly family member. Many older adults prefer to age in place but modifying the home to accommodate the gradual loss of function is essential for preventing falls and injuries. The CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries in those over age sixty-five. However, the vast majority of falls are preventable and ensuring your loved one’s home adapts to their changing needs and abilities will help smooth the transition into old age and prolong independence, while you can have more peace of mind about their safety. Below are five options for modifying a home to prepare for the aging process.

  1. Install grab bars, handles, and railings in areas where balance could fail

Moving up and down between seated and standing positions will become increasingly dangerous for older adults as their balance begins to decline. Install grab bars next to the toilet, tub or shower, and anywhere else in the home where there may be a step up or down that might cause your loved one to lose their balance. Check that existing railings and handles are firmly attached and appropriately placed.

  1. Create unobstructed walking paths within the home

Ensure that high-traffic areas are clear of obstacles such as chair backs and cords, rearranging the furniture if necessary. Secure or remove any rugs or flooring with curling edges or bumps that could become a tripping hazard or that might slip out from under someone. Make sure that the walkways between furniture are wide enough to accommodate for the eventual introduction of walkers and wheelchairs.

  1. Consider doorsteps, ramps, and stairs that might become a fall risk 

Doorsteps and other small obstructions that must be stepped over daily, such as the entrance to a shower, are common sites of falls, as they often go unnoticed and become a tripping hazard. Ramp kits can be purchased for doorsteps both indoors and outdoors to allow safer navigation between rooms. Consider moving upstairs master bedrooms downstairs to reduce stair use.

  1. Install adaptive shower equipment

The slick surfaces in showers make for a potentially dangerous environment, especially as balance declines. Adding a shower seat, removable shower head, and rubber floor mats with suction attachments can help to reduce movement within the shower and increase safety, function, and independence.

  1. Prepare for nighttime bathroom trips 

One of the most common causes of fatal falls is attempting to navigate to and from the bathroom at night. The tight quarters paired with slick floors and the disorientation from being awakened make for a dangerous combination. Install bright, motion-activated night lights in hallways and the bathroom itself. Slip resistant flooring or rubber mats can also help reduce the fall risk and purchasing a bedside commode with handrails will help eliminate navigation altogether.

At Senior Options, we know there is always an opportunity to better the lives of our loved ones. Making a few small changes can have a life saving effect. Contact us for more information about making life better. or 561-372-8026

Categories: Aging