Growing Old Comfortably and Safely

Redesigning a home for your parents as they age.

by MIKE HALL, Owner/Agent/Broker

Elderly Woman washing carrots

With Mother’s and Father’s Day coming up, let’s talk about parents. Many families face the decision of the best place to care for mom and dad as they get older or their health takes a turn.

If you decide to make space in your home to care for an aging parent, let’s talk about ways you can ready your home.

If constructing an in-law suite or accessory dwelling unit is not in the budget, consider these renovations to make your home more accommodating.

  • Widen doorways and hallways. This may need to be done in case of wheelchair access or medical personal accessibility.
  • Install grab bars, handrails, and ramps. To prevent falls and provide accessibility, consider adding these safety items. If you have stairs, you may consider adding a stair lift or home elevator.
  • Renovating your kitchen and/or bath. Install toilets that are higher and easier to get up and down from. Change counter heights and add pull-down shelving for easier access. Replace slick floors with non-slip flooring. Update lighting to make it easier to see. Replace handles with D-shaped ones and levers. Install a walk-in shower/tub with a shower chair. Replace a faucet with a hands-free one. Lower upper cabinets. Replace shelves in lower cabinets with drawers.
  • Smart home upgrades. Consider adding smart home devices, such as a video doorbell, door lock, thermostat, appliances, lighting and home security cameras and medical alerts, to streamline daily tasks.
  • Other tips.
    • Remove throw rugs.
    • Lower windows.
    • Replace stove and dishwasher with front controls.
    • Place microwave at counter height.
    • Install pull-down rods in closets.
    • Replace top-load washer and dryer with front-load ones and raise off the ground.

These can also be done for yourself.

You may want to contact a home designer, who has experience with aging in place and ADA compliance, to help you redesign your home. Contact a Red Edge agent for recommendations.

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