Aging in place refers to the process of adapting one’s home to ensure it is safe and comfortable for continued living as one grows older. This requires a series of home improvements to accommodate changing needs, which can seem overwhelming, but it is often more cost-effective than moving to an assisted living facility.
A significant 77% of people over 50 years old, according to an AARP study, have expressed a desire to age in place. Experts in home remodeling and aging in place recommend prioritizing home improvement projects, starting with areas most prone to accidents.
Bathrooms are considered high-risk areas for older adults due to the presence of moisture, which can cause slips and falls. Upgrades in the bathroom can include installing grab bars, walk-in bathtubs, and seated vanities. Other home improvements include adding ramps, securing railings, and relocating the primary bedroom to the ground floor to reduce the need for stairs.
In the bedroom, consider installing grab bars and ensuring adequate lighting, while in the kitchen, focus on adjusting the height of countertops, sinks, and shelves for better accessibility. Removing clutter and securing floor coverings can also reduce trip hazards.
Many home improvement projects can be completed without professional help, such as installing lever door handles and smart home technologies that simplify daily routines. However, for more extensive renovations, hiring a professional with expertise in aging-in-place modifications can provide valuable guidance.
Ultimately, adapting a home for aging in place is a personal decision that may involve various factors such as financial considerations, health concerns, and personal preferences. Investing in a medical alert system can offer additional security while making these decisions and implementing home modifications.