We all hope to spend our golden years in the comfortable familiarity of our own homes. This concept, known as “aging in place,” is becoming increasingly popular among today’s older population. However, to make it a reality and ensure our homes continue to meet our needs as we age, some modifications may be necessary.

Let’s take a look at some of the changes that can make your home ready for aging in place.

Understanding Aging in Place

Aging in place refers to the ability of seniors to live in their own homes safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level. It’s about preserving your quality of life and maintaining a sense of control over your living environment as you grow older.

The benefits of aging in place are extensive. It allows you to remain in a familiar environment, maintain your independence, and potentially save money. Aging in place also contributes to a person’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. According to AARP, nearly 90% of people over the age of 65 want to stay in their homes for as long as possible.

Importance of Home Modifications for Aging in Place

As we age, our physical abilities change, making everyday tasks more challenging. Unmodified homes can pose various risks to seniors, such as falls due to cluttered spaces or slippery floors. Home modifications provide a safer, more comfortable, and more independent environment for seniors living at home.

Beyond safety, home modifications can also be cost-effective compared to senior living facilities. The Genworth 2020 Cost of Care Survey reveals that the median monthly cost for an assisted living facility is $4,500. In contrast, most home modifications cost significantly less and can be implemented gradually.

Essential Home Modifications for Aging in Place

For successful aging in place, certain home modifications go a long way in providing a living space that provides optimal mobility:

Bathroom Modifications

For increased stability on slippery surfaces, install grab bars near toilets and in showers or tubs, replace traditional bathtubs with walk-in showers, and consider raised toilets to help those with mobility limitations.

Kitchen Modifications

To provide full accessibility, consider pull-out shelves, replace knobs with lever handles, and adjustable-height counters that accommodate wheelchairs. These kinds of solutions ease the stress of reaching and grabbing. 

Bedroom Modifications

If possible, arrange for a bedroom on the first floor to eliminate the need to climb stairs. If stairs are unavoidable, you may benefit from a stairlift. Automated lighting can also help when navigating darker spaces.

General Modifications

Widen doorways to at least 32 inches to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs. Replace carpets with non-slip flooring and install ramps to make it easier to navigate uneven surfaces. 

Professional Assistance for Home Modifications

While some modifications can be DIY, it’s advisable to hire professionals for significant changes. Skilled contractors can ensure modifications are done correctly and safely. Occupational therapists or aging-in-place specialists can also provide valuable insights into what changes would be most beneficial.

When choosing professionals, consider their experience with aging-in-place modifications and ask for references. Remember, the goal is to make your home safe and comfortable for your golden years. Omicelo Health can point you in the right direction. 

Home modifications can be costly, but there are resources available to help, including grants, loans, and insurance coverage. Programs such as Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services waivers or the Department of Veterans Affairs may cover some costs.

Start by assessing your needs and setting a budget. Then research different funding options. It’s also a good idea to talk with a financial advisor or someone knowledgeable about resources — like the team at Omicelo Health.

Omicelo Health Helps With Aging-in-Place Modifications

At Omicelo Health, we recognize the importance of aging in place and are committed to helping homeowners make necessary modifications. Our team of home modification experts can answer your questions and guide you on how to make your home more accessible and safe.

Aging in place is ideal for many homeowners, but it requires preparation and adaptation. By understanding the concept, recognizing the importance of home modifications, and knowing where to seek help, your golden years can be spent in comfort and safety, right where you want to be — at home.