Many adults aged 65 plus prefer to remain in their own homes for as long as possible before contemplating a move a retirement home, assisted living facility or senior care home. One way to make aging in place a reasonable proposition is to upgrade your existing home with certain senior-friendly modifications that make safety and accessibility a priority. A full-on renovation is not always necessary, but a few minor tweaks, retrofits or installations can go a long way in making your home your haven for years to come.
Falling is one of the biggest threats to independent senior living, so adding anti-slip strips to your flooring, especially on stairs and in the bathroom, is an easy must-do step. Adhesive non-slip vinyl, cork or rubber surfaces provide extra traction to prevent slips, and cost only a few dollars from any home store. A suction cup non-slip bath mat and anti-slip rugs should be deployed.
It doesn’t cost much to upgrade your home’s lighting, which can help illuminate your space to make it a safer and more functional. Think about installing motion sensor lighting on your route to the bathroom at night. If you have stairs or steps, make sure that area is lit. These solutions don’t always need an electrician to install, as there are many easy DYI options. For example, get a cheap pack of stick-on tap-on battery operated lights to illuminate closets and cabinets.
Grab bars are an affordable home modification that can help a senior with balance, strength or mobility challenges get up and down with ease. Common areas for these aids include near the toilet, in the bath or in the shower. A set of grab bars can be bought for around $100. The bars should support 250 lbs or more. Make sure to install them into wall studs for security. You might also want to consider a floor to ceiling pole in wide areas where the wall is too far away to help should you lose your balance.
Comfort-height toilets are made for elderly people or those with a disability who find sitting and standing to be a struggle. These commodes are 17 to 19 inches from seat to floor, similar to chair height, whereas the height of a standard toilet is 15 inches. This makes it a little bit easier to sit and stand with ease. Raised toilets can be purchased for around $100 to $300. For a cheaper option, toilet seat risers that are placed atop of an existing toilet cost around $30 to $50 with no renovation work required.
Changing Faucet and Door Handles
Consider replacing your faucets with lever handles, which are easier for those with arthritis to push down rather than having to grip and twist. It costs around $150 to replace faucet handles. Replacing round doorknobs with lever knobs is another easy job. A lever doorknob costs around $15 and simply takes a screwdriver to install.