As our loved ones age, it is our responsibility to see that adjustments are made to accommodate them in their later years. For some, that means a move – either to a new home or an assisted living facility. But in the perfect world, your senior family member gets to stay right where they are, pending some accommodations, of course. Here are some home modifications to increase safety and accessibility in the home for older individuals.
Falling in the home is the primary cause of injury in seniors, so it’s important for your home modifications to reduce this risk by eliminating the use of stairs where possible. Whether they’re living with you or themselves, older individuals should have a bedroom and bathroom available to them on the primary floor of their home. If no bedroom currently exists on the first floor, underutilized space such as a home office can be converted. As for a bathroom addition, look to convert unused closet or under-stairs space.
If an older family member moves into your home, you might want to consider converting your garage space into an apartment for them. This allows them freedom and privacy while keeping them close to home. Converting a garage to living space is often the only viable way to add a bedroom and bathroom – especially a full bath – to the primary floor of your home. This also provides you an opportunity to design an entire living space from scratch with all the necessary modified amenities. For example, If you opt to add a kitchen or kitchenette in your converted garage, you can install lowered cabinets and sink.
Other Quick Fixes:
- Install rocker or “smart” light switches
- Maximize lighting and reduce glare
- Open up space and remove clutter
- Remove runners and other small rugs and tripping hazards
- Reinforce railings and handrails