According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the vast majority of older Americans would like to remain living in their own homes for as long as physically and/or mentally possible. Of these individuals, most said they could live for an extra 10 years in their homes because of these adjustments, according to the survey.
What are Home Modifications?
Home modifications are adjustments or adaptations made to the home so an elderly or disabled person can perform daily tasks as safely as possible while maintaining his/her independence. The type of modifications made will depend on the individual’s abilities and home layout.
Many times those who require home modifications have problems with areas such as the stairs, kitchen, bathroom, driveway and basement.
These areas of the home present complications and dangers because the elderly or disabled individual is suffering from one or more of the following problems:
Bad vision or hearing
Trouble with depth perception
Diminished sense of smell and touch
Too short or too tall
Weakness or reduced mobility
Poor balance and grip
Lack of coordination
History of falling
There are so many simple solutions to allow individuals to remain in their homes while still being allowed to perform daily activities with minimal to no trouble. Here are some useful home modifications:
Improving Lighting and Visibility:
Place light switches on the top and bottom of staircases and close to room entrances
Install lighted switch plates
Install voice- or sound-activated systems
Install motion-censored exterior lighting
Improving Safety and Support:
Take away loose rugs or secure them with non-skid backing or double-sided carpet tape
Install non-slip flooring in bathrooms and kitchens
Place bright-colored non-skid tape on the edges of stairs to highlight them
Install rubber treads on uncarpeted indoor and outdoor stairs
Install handrails and grab bars in stairways and bathrooms
Place an adjustable rail on the edge of the bathtub
Install anti-scald devices in the bathroom sinks and showers
Install an emergency response system
Improve Convenience and Accessibility:
Install wheelchair ramps
Install bed rails
Place a portable toilet in the bedroom
Replace round doorknobs with levers
Install a raised toilet seat
Place a shower chair in the shower or tub
Install crank windows
Purchase clocks and telephones with larger numbers
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.