Elderly parents are staying in their homes longer than ever before, which is creating new challenges for adult children who want to keep their parents safe and comfortable. If your parents want to stay in their home, it may be time for renovations to make sure they live comfortably. Below are tips for remodeling your aging parent’s home for safety and comfort.
Aging in place is becoming more popular
Aging in place is when a person lives and ages in their residence of choice, for as long as they can. It means a person being able to live in the place of their choice without losing their quality of life when they reach senior age. But ideally what aging in place should be addressing is not just to maintain the quality of life that the person is used to, but also to make it better whenever possible.
Remodeling bathrooms for older parents
One of the most common areas in a home where elderly parents fall is in the bathroom. With slick surfaces and sometimes tight spaces, it can be hazardous unless upgrades are made for safety and comfort. Here are a few ways to remodel a bathroom to make it more age-appropriate for elderly folks:
If your parents prefer taking a shower over using a bathtub, shower seats are a great way to safely shower.
Shower grab bars
Grab bars a fantastic way to provide stability in a shower.
Low or no shower curb
Nowadays, there are many low and no-curb showers to choose from. Ask a remodeling professional for recommendations.
Non-slip bathtubs come in a variety of styles and help elderly people safely get in and out of a bathtub without the risk of slipping
Bathtub grab bar
Many people don’t know that grab bars are available for bathtubs too, but they’re a smart addition for any home looking to increase safety for aging parents.
These tubs have been around for years and are getting more and more stylish. As a bathroom renovation professional about options.
Creating a safer kitchen for the elderly
For self-sufficient parents, cooking doesn’t go away with age, but safety becomes an even bigger concern for elderly cooks. Care.com put together a great list of ways to remodeling a kitchen for elderly parents:
- Install a pull-out pantry
- Round the edges
- Keep the sink close to the stove
- Opt for a shallow sink
- Place the microwave at or below counter height
- Choose standard counter-depth appliances and cabinets without any frills
- Make corners accessible
- Pick drawers, not doors for easier access
- Focus on clearance space
- Ensure that floors are slip-resistant
Other useful ideas for remodeling homes for aging parents
While the kitchen and bathroom are the two more challenging rooms for elderly parents, here are a few ideas for other rooms in the house, depending on their level of mobility:
- Widen doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers
- Install lever-style door knobs that are easier to grip for arthritic hands
- Replace flooring with slip-resistant material
- Add a wheelchair ramp
- Adjust kitchen countertops heights
- Install a chair lift or elevator
Most expenses for home renovations will need to be paid out of pocket. However, Medicare or private insurance may cover the cost of medical equipment that’s installed in a home, but they generally don’t pay for home remodel projects. Do your homework to see what renovation costs may be covered. The answer is always “no” if you don’t ask! Some seniors may qualify for a limited number of home improvement grants, based on their income and where they live. The Department of Health and Human Services’ ElderCare.gov website has more details.
Staying at home as long as possible is usually the desire of most aging parents. To make sure they’re both safe and comfortable, try these ideas for remodeling your aging parent’s home.