Making Your Home Elderly-Friendly

While 90% of seniors prefer to stay comfortably at home as people age, not all homes are designed elderly-friendly. To ensure proper elderly residential care, much consideration is needed to ensure that the environment has enough lighting and can prevent accidental falls. It can be costly to completely renovate your home into an assisted living one. Luckily, there are some quick-fixes to reduce these physical challenges, so that our elder family members can get around safely and freely. Follow the tips below to make sure your home is as senior-friendly as possible.

Home renovation tips for elderly-friendly bedrooms

Bedroom – Ease the process of getting in and out of bed in the dark for the elderly

  • Flashlight: Keep one near the bed which can be easily accessed in case of a power cut
  • Bed Rail: Offers additional support for seniors
  • Lamp: Place lamp within reach of the bed to avoid the walk to and from the light switch in the dark
  • Carpet: A low-pile carpet can act as protective cushioning in the event of a fall
  • Bed “Raisers”: Facilitates getting in and out of bed

Home renovation tips for elderly-friendly living rooms

Living room – Prevent seniors from accidental slips and falls

  • Lighting: Improved lighting can help reduce falls and accidents. An 80 year old needs around 3 times more light than a young adult
  • Intercom System: Helpful for those with difficulty reaching the front door when someone calls
  • Furniture: Arranged in a way to allow plenty of room to walk around freely and reduce the risk of tripping
  • Electrical Cords: Secured to the wall to prevent tripping
  • Rugs: Removed or attached to the floor with double-sided tape
  • Large-Screen Phone: Facilitates senior family members’ contact with family and friends

Home renovation tips for elderly-friendly bathrooms

Bathroom – Avoid slipping with extra supports for older residents

  • Shower Head: Hand-held shower heads are easier to use for someone with limited mobility
  • Holding Bars: Provide extra support when moving in and out of the bath, or on and off the toilet
  • Bath Bench: Helps reduce the risk of slipping when getting in and out of the bath tub
  • Elevated Toilet Seat: Helpful for those who have difficulty bending or sitting on low surfaces
  • Non-slip Mats: Placed outside the shower, near the toilet and the sink to avoid slipping

Home renovation tips for elderly friendly kitchens Kitchen – Select kitchen items with a steady grip and contrasting colours for  easy usage

  • Fall Detector: About a third of people over 65 fall each year, the figure for those over 75 is even higher. A fall detector has sensors to help alert elderly home carers when a fall happens
  • Perching Stool: Ease the strain on one’s feet while preparing food at the kitchen counter
  • Cupboards: Store commonly-used items on shelves that are easily within reach
  • Kitchen Tools: Select items with good and steady grip like wide-handled cutlery, two handled cups or kettle tippers
  • Contrasting Colours: Distinct colours can help a senior’s eyes adapt and register items more easily
  • Trolley: Move food and drink safely from room to room

Ageing can be difficult for senior family members. By making your living environment safe and comfortable — with special attention to elder care needs — we can empower our loved ones to live with dignity and independence while enjoying the comforts of home.