7 Home Modifications to Make for Aging in Place

For many people, aging in place has become a retirement goal. According to the United States of Aging survey, nine out of ten people want to retire in their own homes instead of assisted living.

This makes sense given that our homes are more comfortable, we don’t have to worry about moving, and it’s much less stressful to stay in place.

Not only this, but the best homeowners insurance companies will help cover some of the costs associated with aging in place.

It is important to consider the proper home modifications to make for aging in place when we look into this highly sought after retirement goal. When you’re ready, compare home insurance rates to make sure your modifications are covered in case of an emergency.

Important Home Modifications for Aging in Place

One of the significant necessities that come with retiring at home is making sure the house itself is livable for older adults. As we age, we are unable to perform different tasks we once did when we were younger which means we have to modify our living quarters to meet our needs. Such needs may make finding a home insurance policy with a different company worthwhile.

Making proper home modifications helps prevent injuries while keeping one independent and able. Use these tips to ensure you stay independent, capable, and comfortable as you age in place.

#1 – Widen Hallways

You may need to widen your halls if you or a loved one uses mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs. Walkers and wheelchairs are often wide in width and may not be able to be used in some houses. Test this out before making huge changes, though.

Can the mobility aids travel easily through halls and around corners? If not, is there any furniture or fixtures that are getting in the way? If so, remove them before making this upgrade. This is one of the more expensive home modifications to make. It’s vital to make sure it’s necessary before doing so.

#2 – Install Rocker Switches

Traditional light switches are not suitable for anyone with weak hands or arthritis. These kinds of switches can make a simple task hard.

Rocker switches by design are much easier to use compared to traditional switches because the user can push each end to turn the lights on or off.

This design is perfect for anyone with any type of hand pain or lack of hand strength.

#3 – Install Security Cameras

As old age approaches, we become less able to defend ourselves. This makes older-aged adults a prime target for home invasions and robberies. Installing home security cameras can not only provide ease for older adults but their loved ones as well.

Newer systems come ready to pair with smartphones. This feature can allow your loved ones to keep an eye out for you and assist if needed.

#4 – Install a Wheelchair Ramp

Wheelchair ramps are one of the most popular home modifications one makes, especially for those with mobility issues. But they’re not just for those relying on wheelchairs. They can be used by anyone with weak balance or those struggling with stairs.

A ramp outside the house will help reduce the chances of tripping and falling. It also puts less strain on older adults by requiring less effort to move in and out of their homes.

#5 – Install Adequate Lighting

Vision is another one of the things that hinder us as we age. Most home designs aren’t adequately lit for those with vision impairment. This makes installing extra lighting essential for anyone aging in place.

Walk through your home at night, and take note of any areas in the house you have trouble seeing. Start by installing night lights and see if this helps. If not, you may need to install lamps or ceiling lights to fix this issue.

A bonus for improved lighting is motion-activated outdoor lights. Motion-activated lights can add outdoor security and reduce the chances of falling when outside. They also make tasks such as taking dogs out easier since one does not have to turn outdoor lights on.

#6 – Update Flooring

Flooring, without proper maintenance, can prove to be a trip hazard. This is especially true for older adults with weaker balance.

Carpet, by nature, tends to be a more significant hazard than hard flooring as it becomes loose with age.

If possible, consider replacing carpet with wood, tile, or laminate flooring.

Another home safety enhancement is adding textured strips to areas with slip hazards. These easy to install strips provide a grip for your feet. They’re inexpensive and can make a world of difference.

#7 – Add Grab Bars

Installing grab bars are one of the more common home modifications. They attach to the wall or shower wall and provide something for users to grab on to when sitting or standing. Although most often used in bathrooms, grab bars can be installed anywhere in the home. They’re available with suction cups to stick to walls or with drill-in screws for a more permanent solution.

Go through your house and seek areas where you struggle to move around. Areas such as the toilet, shower, and stairs are where grab bars are most commonly installed.

Home Modifications Make Aging in Place Possible

Aging in place can prove to be more affordable compared to assisted living. This is even true when having to make home modifications. The proper home modifications can save you money in both living arrangements and medical bills as well as help you understand what home insurance best suits your needs.

Once you’ve completed all the necessary modifications, use our FREE quote tool to compare rates now to find the best home insurance policy for your home.

About the Author:

Brandon Landgraf is a digital marketing manager and content creator for Carex Health Brands, a health and wellness brand whose mission is to improve the lives of others. He enjoys writing content that empowers others to live better, be healthier, and lead happy lifestyles.

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