Must-Have Modifications for In-Home Aging

Aging in place in the comfort of your home offers many advantages over moving into an assisted living facility. You can remain with your pets, be around all of your belongings, retain some level of independence, and set your own schedule.

Hiring an in-home care aide can give you the support and companionship needed to avoid accidents or injury while allowing you to stay at home and avoid the stress and trauma of selling your home and moving.

If you decide that you do want to age in place, or if you have a loved one that needs in-home care, you should make some key modifications to the home to improve safety and security. Here is a look at must-have modifications to fit the needs of seniors who want to age in place.

Start With a Home Safety Evaluation

Before you make any modifications to your home, you should start with a home safety evaluation. During a home safety evaluation, an expert will come into your home and do a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior living areas.

They will look for health and safety issues like damaged flooring, poor lighting, slip and fall risks, and more. They will then make professional recommendations for changes or additions to the home that will reduce safety risks and improve quality of life and security.

Undergoing a home safety evaluation will give you the resources and information you need to begin making modifications to support aging in place or prepare for in-home care services.

Home Alarm and Security Systems

Installing a home alarm and security system will give you peace of mind and increase your safety in your home. Your alarm system will provide advanced warning of smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide.

It will also alert you if a window or door is left open or if someone is trying to break into your home. Alarm monitoring services will ensure the police, fire, or paramedics are called in case of emergency.

A personal alert system or home monitoring system can also alert medical response teams and trusted family members in the event of a fall or accident.

Grab Bars and Mobility Aids

Grab bars and mobility aids will make it easier for you to get around your home safely without risk of a fall or accident.

Installing grab bars in your bedroom and bathroom will help you get in and out of bed, on and off the toilet, and into and out of the shower without injuring yourself. Mobility aids like a walker, electric scooter, or stair chairs will also improve your safety inside and outside of your home.

Ramps and Railings for Stairs and Steps

If you have stairs or steps inside or outside of your home, you will need to install ramps or railings. An entryway ramp is safer to use than walking up and down steps, whether you use a mobility aid or not.

If you don’t want to install a ramp, you should install railings or make sure your existing railings are stable and secure. Always use the railings when going up and down stairs or steps, even if it is just a short distance.

 Improved Lighting

If the interior or exterior of your home is dim at dusk or at night, you will need to improve your lighting. Your home should be bright enough that you can see, identify, and avoid safety hazards and avoid tripping and falling.

Brighter outdoor lighting will also deter vandals and prowlers and enhance your home security. You should use LED lighting when possible to reduce the risk of fire and lower your energy bills, and use as high a bulb wattage as possible.

You should also consider installing night lights in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and hallways. Using a light timer will increase your comfort and convenience as the lights will turn on automatically at dusk or sunset and turn off at sunrise.

 Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology can improve your safety and convenience and reduce your risk of injury or mobility issues. If you have trouble reaching or using light switches, the thermostat, or the garage door, installing smart home devices will make your life much safer, easier, and more comfortable.

Smart lights can be voice activated or controlled with a tablet or mobile application. They can also be set on a schedule so they go on and off at predetermined times each day. A smart thermostat can also be programmed or controlled by voice activation so that people with limited mobility or vision can still maintain a comfortable temperature in their home.

Smart devices can even control ceiling fans, window shades, door locks, garage door functions, and small appliances like coffee makers and dishwashers.

Safe Flooring

Area rugs, welcome mats, and tile flooring can be hard to navigate if you have mobility issues. Damaged or old flooring can present a trip and fall hazard. Falling on hard flooring can also increase your risk of injury.

Some types of flooring are very slippery, especially if they are wet or if you are wearing slippers or house shoes. Talk to a home safety specialist or senior care specialist about what types of flooring are safest for your personal lifestyle and abilities. In most cases, carpeting is the safest flooring for seniors with mobility issues.

Accessible Shower or Bathtub

Getting into and out of the shower or bathtub can pose major health and safety risks, regardless of your mobility or abilities. You can make your shower or bathtub more accessible by installing a shower safety seat, grab bars, and safety mats.

You should put mats on the floor in front of the shower or bathtub and inside the shower or bathtub. You should also consider replacing your bathtub with a walk-in shower so that you won’t need to step up and over the side of the bathtub to get in and out.

Schedule a Home Safety Evaluation Today

If you or a loved one would prefer to age in place rather than moving into a retirement home or assisted living facility, our team at Placita In Home Care can help. We offer free home safety evaluations in Tucson and Phoenix Metro areas.

Our experienced home safety team will assess the interior and exterior of your home for safety hazards. We will then provide a customized checklist of safety improvement recommendations.

We can refer you to a trusted local handyman service for installation of safety devices or repairs of unsafe areas of the home. Our home safety evaluation can reduce your risk of falls, accidents, and injuries, and provide the support and peace of mind you need to age in place.

We also offer in-home care services and assisted living placement services if you need added support. Call us today or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.