The golden years should be a time of comfort and relaxation, and for many people, there’s no place more comfortable than their own home. This is where the concept of “aging in place” comes into play. Aging in place refers to the ability to live in their home comfortably and safely for as long as possible as they age.

However, aging in place requires a living space that is safe and accessible for older adults whose physical abilities and mobility often deteriorate as they get older. More often than not, homeowners will need to plan for some aging-in-place remodeling to make their homes safer and more mobile friendly in order to remain independent late in life.

What’s involved in aging-in-place remodeling? Which areas of the home should you consider for upgrades or renovations? Below are some helpful tips and guidelines for ensuring your beloved residence is ready for older adults.

Understanding Aging in Place

The concept of aging in place is becoming increasingly important as our population gets older. The benefits of this practice can be invaluable to a person’s well-being by promoting independence, providing a sense of familiarity and comfort, decreasing stress, and improving mental health. 

Current trends show a rise in people opting to remodel their homes for aging in place. In fact, according to the AARP, nearly 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age.

When to Start Planning for Aging in Place

Early planning is imperative when it comes to aging in place. Your health, mobility, family situation, and other factors will determine the kind of modifications you will need in your home. The sooner you start planning, the better you will be equipped to handle the changes that come with aging. 

Most experts recommend starting to think about takings steps for aging in place when you reach 50 years of age.

Key Areas to Consider for Aging in Place Remodeling

Home remodeling for aging in place typically focuses on improving accessibility and safety. Here are some key areas in the home to consider:

Entrance

Install ramps or lifts if necessary, add handrails for additional support, and ensure there is adequate lighting.

Bathroom

Features like walk-in showers, grab bars, and raised toilets can make a world of difference for seniors with or without mobility issues. 

Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most essential spaces in the home, but it can also prove to be the most challenging for older adults with mobility limitations. Keep the joy in your kitchen by making modifications such as adjustable counter heights and pull-out cabinets for easy access.

Bedroom

Ideally, the bedroom should be on the ground to avoid stairs. Make sure there’s sufficient lighting and open space for moving through the bedroom, dressing, and reaching daily necessities. 

Living Area

Wide doorways, no-step entries, and ramps can be important for those using mobility aids or who have difficulty navigating tight spaces.

Technology

Technology can play a vital role in supporting aging in place. Assistive technology such as medical alert systems can provide peace of mind while smart home features like voice-controlled lighting or automatic door locks can enhance convenience and safety.

Cost and Financing for Aging in Place Remodeling

The cost of aging-in-place remodeling will depend on the extent of modifications required. On average, minor modifications can cost anywhere from $1000-$3000 while major renovations can go up to $20,000 or more. 

Fortunately, there are several financing options available such as loans, grants, or even tax credits. To save costs, prioritize the modifications that are most essential and seek professional advice. (Contact the experts at Omicelo Health for additional guidance.)

While DIY remodeling might seem cost-effective, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Professionals have the experience and knowledge to ensure safety standards are met and can also help you navigate building codes and permits. If you decide on DIY remodeling, ensure you have a well-researched plan and consider getting professional advice before starting.

Aging in Place Remodeling with Omicelo Health

At Omicelo Health, we understand the importance of creating an independent environment for seniors to age in place — and even thrive — at home. You’ll find resources on aging in place along with contacts of professionals specializing in home modifications for aging in place. 

Remember: planning today ensures a comfortable and safe tomorrow.