5 Must-Have Home Upgrades for Seniors

Mar 29, 2024

Many retirees dream of trading the responsibilities of homeownership for the carefree lifestyle of assisted living. Others would rather grow old at home near friends and family, where they can enjoy the fruits of their labor.

But not every home is ideal for “aging in place.” Most require modifications to ensure occupants can live independently, safely and comfortably.

If you’re thinking about aging in place, here are some recommended home upgrades to look into.  

Barrier-Free Entry

As mobility decreases, something as simple as stepping over the front door sill can become difficult. Installing threshold ramps in home entrances and interior doorways can help. Threshold ramps help smooth the transition between uneven surfaces, making them safer for people who use wheelchairs, walkers and canes.

Optimal Clearance

Walkers and wheelchairs need 36 inches of clearance to pass through doorways and navigate around furniture. If widening doorways isn’t an option, installing swing-clear door hinges can provide up to two additional inches of clearance. Unnecessary interior doors can be removed entirely.

Better Lighting

Aging eyes can have difficulty seeing in dim light. Additional light fixtures, higher-wattage bulbs and more open and airy window treatments can help compensate. Direct task lighting such as under-cabinet LEDs or motion-activated closet lights can further increase visibility in shadowy areas.

Easier Tub & Shower Access

Replace traditional bathtubs with walk-in showers or tubs to allow seniors safer, easier access. Or opt for a more budget-friendly bathtub chair or transfer bench; add grab bars for additional support. Reduce the slickness of tub and shower floors with nonslip mats, self-adhesive strips or anti-slip coating. 

Safer Stairways

Install sturdy handrails that run the length of each staircase. Add low-pile carpet or anti-slip tape to each step to increase traction underfoot. Consider installing a chairlift or elevator if going upstairs on foot is no longer possible. These installations are often more affordable than you might think.

Interested in financing your next home renovation? Reach out today.