October 2, 2023


My Sweet Home

Getting older in Place: Information to Dwelling 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 Photographs

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. Nonetheless, a ballot from the College of Michigan reported that solely 15% of seniors have significantly thought-about tips on how to renovate their properties to accommodate their wants as they age.

Why the disconnect? Many seniors aren’t certain if they’ll afford to rent assist or renovate their properties. Others imagine they will eventually have to move anyway, regardless of eager to “age in place.” Or typically, the thought of constructing plans for the longer term can simply really feel daunting. 

Fortunately, many assets can be found to assist seniors reside safely of their properties. 

Why is Dwelling Security Vital for Seniors? 

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

Danger components like vitamin D deficiency, using sure medicines and difficulties strolling can result in falls. Nonetheless, house hazards like litter on the ground, uneven steps or slippery rest room flooring are critical fall dangers which you can keep away from with some preparation. 

Houses may be designed with security in thoughts, and residential enhancements for seniors can cut 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 whenever you select to remain in your house as you age quite than transfer to a retirement neighborhood, assisted residing facility or nursing house. 

With a purpose 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, you could want further assist caring for your self, doing chores, getting ready meals or typically shifting round your private home. 

Professionals and Cons of Getting older in Place for the Aged

Everybody’s wants and residing conditions are completely different. As time passes, your wants will probably change as properly. Should you do select to age in place, it is best to reassess your wants often with an in depth member of the family, buddy or caretaker to see should you want further assist. 

Professionals of Getting older in Place

  • Extra independence and autonomy in your individual house 
  • Extra consolation residing in your individual house 
  • Extra accustomed to the structure and options of your private home 
  • You’ll be able to keep related along with your neighbors and neighborhood 

Cons of Getting older in Place

  • Getting round can turn into tougher as you grow old 
  • Navigating stairs and family risks can pose a threat
  • As ageing advances, caring for oneself and your private home can turn into difficult 
  • Assembly new folks and discovering companionship may be more durable 

Caregivers and Getting older in Place

If you’re a caregiver for an older individual, there’s an opportunity your duties will change because the individual you take care of ages. However your position also can change day-to-day. Whether or not you’re a buddy, member of the family or skilled caregiver, you’ll need to set up the wants of the individual you might be caring for.  

Under are some baseline questions regarding family duties, accessibility and neighborhood which you can evaluate with the individual you might be caring for. The questions might help you establish if their house is protected to age in place and what degree of care is required. 

Family Duties 

  • Are you able to full family duties like garden care, grocery purchasing, cleansing and laundry with out help? 
  • Do you are feeling snug organising your individual physician’s appointments, paying your individual payments and managing your funds? 
  • Can you plan and prepare dinner your individual meals, or do you want me or another person that can assist you with this? 
  • Do you could have a hygiene routine that you’ll be able to full each day? Do you bear in mind to take your medication and accomplish that safely? 


  • Are you able to stroll up the steps safely and with ease? Do you are feeling protected strolling round your private home? 
  • Are there at present issues on the ground, slippery surfaces or uneven stairs that would result in a fall in your house? 
  • Do you are feeling snug driving or taking public transportation alone to get the place it’s worthwhile to go? 
  • What adjustments might we make in order that your private home is accessible and protected?
  • Do you are feeling lonely? How typically would you want somebody to verify in on you? 
  • Do you could have a assist community of associates, neighbors, members of the family and care professionals? 
  • Can you talk along with your family members often and in a approach that’s snug for you? 

When you perceive the wants of the individual you’re caring for, you’ll be able to create a schedule to verify in and help your beloved as wanted. 

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

As a caregiver, navigating these conversations with a beloved one may 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, you could not have the ability to have a totally candid dialog in regards to the questions above and even have the dialog in any respect. 

Nonetheless, as a caregiver, you should use different assets to make sure that you’re making the best selections for your beloved. For starters, you’ll be able to attempt getting the consent of your beloved to attend a health care provider’s appointment with them to debate their wants. 

You may also communicate to somebody that the individual you’re caring for trusts, like somebody they reside with, a really shut buddy or member of the family. This fashion, you may get extra perception into their each day life and struggles. 

Sources for Caregivers 

Being a caregiver may be annoying and tough, however it is usually rewarding. As a caregiver, don’t overlook to maintain your self and discover a assist group that can assist you navigate your duties. 

Listed here are some high assets for caregivers: 

Dwelling Security Guidelines and Renovation Suggestions for Seniors 

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

Dwelling Security for Seniors 

Should you or a beloved one chooses to age in place, it’s vital to evaluate the house’s security. Undergo the home fastidiously and contemplate sure security components like falls, poisoning and scams. Make a plan about what to do in case of an emergency. 

  • Falls: Transfer something off the bottom that might be a tripping or slipping hazard. Should you’re nervous about falls, you should purchase a medical alert bracelet or necklace. As a senior ageing in place, at all times retaining your telephone on you is a good suggestion. You may also communicate along with your healthcare supplier about preemptively getting ready for a fall with train packages. 
  • Poisoning: Improperly utilizing or mixing medicines or cleansing merchandise may be dangerous or lethal. Usually, hold harsh cleansing merchandise like bleach out of the home. Have your pharmacist affirm that you’re taking all remedy correctly and provide you with large-print labels for capsule bottles. 
  • Scams: Numerous scams goal older folks. Set up a recreation plan with your beloved about what you’ll do should you obtain a suspicious name or somebody exhibits 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 info over the telephone or on-line. If you’re unsure whether or not or not one thing is a rip-off, you’ll be able to at all times say that you’ll get again to the individual after checking the legitimacy of their enterprise. 

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

Dwelling Renovations and Reworking for Seniors

Many properties will not be designed to accommodate aged folks or folks with mobility issues. To age in place safely, caregivers and seniors should fastidiously contemplate tips on how to make the house protected, which might embrace house enhancements and repairs. 

An AARP ballot discovered that seniors are most definitely to renovate their bathrooms or entryways to boost their security within the house. Nonetheless, each room in a home may 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 Photographs

Toilet flooring and surfaces can turn into extraordinarily slippery, posing a critical falling threat. Different potential risks within the rest room embrace burns from scalding scorching water and falls from getting on and off the bathroom. So, how will you 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 lavatory 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 really helpful by the U.S. Client Product Security Fee (CPSC)9
  • Set up good lighting, together with a nightlight, for improved visibility and to stop 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 may 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 raise, if it isn’t doable 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 stop falls
  • Decreasing the countertop peak and putting in pullout drawers for wheelchair accessibility 
  • Including a piece desk within the kitchen (if it isn’t doable 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 stop bumps

Dwelling Room

Though residing rooms don’t pose as a lot threat as different areas in the home, a cluttered or cramped residing house 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 

Normal Suggestions 

There are additionally normal precautions you’ll be able to apply all through the house to extend security, together with:  

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

4 Dwelling Enchancment Grants and Monetary Help for Senior Residents

Under are just a few federal, state and native monetary assets that provide sponsored or free house repairs for seniors. 

  • U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) Single Household Housing Restore Loans & Grants: The USDA has state-specific assets for house restore loans and grants. Though {qualifications} for these Part 504 Dwelling Restore Program loans differ, aged, low-income householders sometimes qualify. Study extra here
  • Space Companies on Getting older (AAAs): Though Space Companies on Getting older function regionally, they’re out there all through the U.S. to supply restore funds for senior house modifications. These packages are supplied by means of the Older People Act. Study extra and discover your native AAA here
  • Weatherization Help Packages (WAPs): WAPs provide low-income and aged households power effectivity upgrades by means of grant funding. These packages present providers like caulking, HVAC upkeep, insulation and extra to assist households save on power payments. Study extra in regards to the utility course of here
  • Medicare and Medicaid: Your Medicaid might enable you to pay for senior house renovations to permit for protected ageing in place. You may also have medical gear lined, together with walkers and bathtub security benches. Contact your native Medicare or Medicaid workplace to study extra. 

3 Organizations That Assist With Getting older in Place for Aged

  • Nationwide Council on Getting older (NCOA): The NCOA has helped safe landmark packages and laws that assist seniors, like Medicare, Medicaid and the Older People Act. They provide instruments, assets and providers to enhance the livelihood of older adults. Study extra here
  • Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity has an aging-in-place program that gives house repairs, modifications and neighborhood providers to enhance housing and well being fairness for seniors. Study extra here
  • Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels is a nationwide program that operates by means of hundreds of locally-run volunteer teams. Meals on Wheels supplies wholesome meals and different assets to folks in want. 
  • Study extra organizations that assist older folks ageing 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 related. The senior neighborhood has seen a rise in using 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 Photographs

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

  • Cosy Security app: Snug Safety is an app that enables seniors to verify in each day on their telephones. If the senior doesn’t verify in as soon as a day, the app will message their emergency contacts to alert them that they might need assistance. 
  • Vigorous Hyperlink app: Vigorous Hyperlink can also be a check-in app for seniors, however it additionally permits seniors to share the situation of their telephone, adjustments in each day actions, whether or not or not their telephone is on and their telephone’s battery degree. Moreover, the app will routinely notify emergency contacts if the senior contacts emergency providers.
  • Tile Tracker: The Tile Tracker might help seniors discover lacking objects. Simply obtain the app and join the bodily tile to a generally misplaced merchandise, like a pockets or purse. Should you lose the merchandise, you should use your telephone 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 neighborhood with out having to depart their properties. Study extra in regards to the growing recognition 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 units that hook up with your smartphone.

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