5 home modifications older adults need for aging-in-place

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As you get older, your needs can change in various ways. Not only are your nutritional needs different, but so are the ways you move around your house.

Everyone doesn’t to give up their familiar abode, however, and they don’t have to. Aging-in-place is the phrase used to describe “choosing to remain at home instead of moving to a senior living arrangement,” according to older adult and caretaker resource website Caring.com.

If you’d rather age-in-place than move into an assisted living facility, there are some must-have home modifications you should undertake to make living independently a breeze.

Here are five of the best home modifications you can make, according to Assisted Living Today.

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Making changes to the shower and bathtub

Among the more expensive options are to renovate the bathroom with a walk-in tub or replace the tub altogether with a walk-in shower. But if you’d rather keep your bathroom intact, you can opt to add a safety bar or safety strips to the shower or tub. This Old House has installation tips for the former. These options are less expensive and can prevent slips and falls. Additionally, placing a bathtub transfer bench on the ledge of the tub can allow for easier entry and exit from the bathtub.

Widening doorways

Accessibility matters, and if you use a wheelchair or cane to aid with mobility, it may be worth expanding your home’s doorways to go into and out of rooms more easily. Today’s Homeowner has tips on how to get it done.

Weigh the flooring options

Along with widening doorways, using a cane or a wheelchair may make you want to reconsider the flooring throughout the house. Longer or shag carpeting could be replaced with one that has a shorter nap. Hardwood or laminate floors could be easier for wheelchair users, but they can also be a slipping hazard. Rugs can be put down, too, but be sure they’re secured to the floor. The Spruce has some options for the best flooring to use while aging-in-place.

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Adjust kitchen accessibility

Counter height should be considered in the kitchen. Have a contractor come to your home and make adjustments to the height of the sink and counters. You may also opt to use microwave stands rather than placing the appliance on the back of the counter or above the stove. Bob Villa notes lower cabinets can be made more accessible with the installation of pull-out shelves.

Utilize smart technology

Smart speakers such as Amazon Dot and Google Home can allow you to conveniently control things such as the lighting in your home with your voice. They’re also useful for reminders or keeping up with meetings, appointments and grocery deliveries. Other options, such as video doorbells like Ring, also allow you to have more peace of mind since you can see who is at your home anywhere inside with a glimpse of the camera from your smartphone. Dwell has a round-up of smart home technology options to consider.