Statistics provided by Environics Analytics in April 2023, show that seniors make up for 19.3 % of the population in Canada. While some percentage of the senior population opt to move into senior living communities when they start aging and are unable to manage on their own.

However, a large population of seniors still prefer staying in their homes. However, the problem is that the homes that were safe and convenient for them during their younger days, may not be comfortable and accessible for them as their mobility declines with age.

With the concept of aging in place gaining popularity, it has become important to consider senior living accessibility as part of any home renovation plan.

Home improvement services aimed at enhancing accessibility, safety, and overall comfort can play a crucial role in making seniors comfortable and safe in their own homes. 

What do you mean by Aging in Place?

Aging in place means choosing to stay in your home as you age rather than moving to a senior living community, assisted living facility or nursing home.

It refers to the ability of individuals to live in their own homes safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of their age or ability level. To age in place successfully, one needs to anticipate and prepare for the changing needs.

Although they will continue living in their own home, they will need additional support so that they can go about doing their chores, preparing meals, or generally moving around the house without any hassle or safety concerns.

Why is Home Safety Important for Seniors? 

Homes that are comfortable when young can pose accessibility issues and safety risks as one starts aging. The biggest risk for seniors living alone in their homes is falling.

Reasons like Vitamin D deficiency, side effects of certain medications, and difficulty walking can lead to falls. Home hazards like uneven steps or slippery bathroom floors can cause serious falls and they can be avoided with some home improvements. 

Statistics show that every year, 25% of the adult population above the age of 65 experience a fall in their homes. Home improvement services can help design a safe home, reducing the risk of falls, while increasing accessibility. 

Essential home improvement services that can help create a comfortable future

Bathroom Modifications

The riskiest area and fall-prone in the house is the bathroom area. Most instances of falls are in the bathroom due to slippery falls or mobility issues. 

Installation of grab bars, non-slip flooring, and raised toilet seats can significantly enhance bathroom safety and accessibility. Walk-in showers with seating and handheld showerheads can add convenience while seniors take a bath.

Adding textured, non-slip trips to the bathtub and shower area can reduce the risk of slipping. The area rugs can be secured using slip-resistant backings.

Kitchen Accessibility

Kitchens are another area that requires modifications to make them accessible for the seniors.  Installing adjustable countertops, pull-out shelves, and easy-to-grasp cabinet handles can aid in easy access while cooking. Installing lever-style faucets and smart appliances can help in making daily household tasks more manageable.

Ramps and Stair Lifts

Installing ramps at the entry or at places where the flooring is uneven can help seniors using wheelchairs to easily access all areas of the house. Installing stair lifts in multi-story homes can make accessing the higher stories of the house easy. By addressing the mobility challenges the seniors face in their own house, home improvement services can make living, comfortable and safe. 

Wider Doorways and Hallways

Widening the doorways and hallways can help ease the movement of mobility aids like wheelchairs and walkers. Doors should be at least 2 ft 8 inches -10 inches wide to allow easy navigation. Wider hallways of around 3 and a half feet allow easy turning around for people in wheelchairs.

Smart Home Technology

Embracing technology can contribute significantly to the safety and convenience of aging in place. Smart home devices like security systems, thermostats, and voice-activated assistants, can help enhance overall comfort and safety.

Installing smart cameras and smart doorbells can help enhance security. Installing cameras inside and outside the home can allow family members to check in regularly and be alerted in case of an emergency.  Some cameras allow two-way voice communication, they can help the seniors to speak to their families when needed. 

Slip-resistant Flooring

Installing slip-resistant flooring throughout the house reduces the risk of falls and slips. If carpeted, then the carpet should be low-pile allowing smooth maneuvering of wheelchairs. Transitions between different types of flooring should be as minimal as possible. 

Adequate Lighting

Adequate and well-placed lighting is important for individuals with aging eyesight. Installing bright, energy-efficient lighting around the entrance and staircases can help prevent accidents. Installing night lights in bedrooms and bathrooms can help prevent falls, making the place more accessible.

Outdoor Safety

Installing handrails, non-slip surfaces, and adequate lighting around the entrance area ensures the safety of the seniors while accessing the garden or moving outdoors. Well-maintained pathways and ramps in the yard ensure safe access.

Benefits of Professional Home Improvement Services

While some home improvement modifications can be carried out through DIY efforts, it is advisable to consult home improvement services professionals to modify the house to support aging in place.

These professionals will thoroughly assess the house and provide customized solutions based on present and future needs. Additionally, professional service providers will ensure that all modifications made are compliant with the local building codes and safety standards. 

Affordable Remodeling Services by Stay Able

The demand for home improvement services has been on the rise with more seniors wishing to stay in their own homes and not move into community homes.

Making proactive modifications to the home helps enhance the accessibility and safety of the seniors. We at Stay Able are certified kitchens and bath designers, they are also certified aging-in-place specialists.

We provide affordable remodeling services and expert advice to maintain a comfortable and independent lifestyle in your home. We specialize in complete bathroom and kitchen renovations as well as custom modifications for “aging in place”