How to Make Your Home Safer and More Accessible for Aging in Place

November 16, 2023

The home lovingly curated for family-living years is unlikely to serve us as older adults aging in place. Safety and accessibility can be a major concern for older adults who wish to confidently age in place while maintaining independence, autonomy, and the ability to make decisions for oneself. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some helpful tips on how to inexpensively modify a home to create a safer and more comfortable living environment. We’ll explore options that older adults can consider, or if you’re a family caregiver, help your loved ones age in their beloved homes for as long as possible.

Understanding the Importance of Aging in Place for Older Adults

Free Elderly Woman Sitting on Sofa While Having a Conversation Stock Photo

According to an April, 2022 poll by the University of Michigan, 88% of people over the age of 50 say they plan to age in place, but fewer than one third feel that their current home is properly equipped to support this goal. Nevertheless, aging independently at home remains the overwhelming choice. Aging in place not only provides comfort and familiarity but also promotes emotional well-being and a sense of control at a time when one’s capabilities are changing.

Aging in place allows older adults to stay connected to their community, friends, and neighbors. It provides a sense of belonging and prevents the feelings of isolation, fear, and loneliness that can often accompany a move. Aging in place can be a more cost-effective option compared to other living solutions like assisted living.

Understanding the importance that loved ones place on aging at home is critical for family caregivers. By taking the necessary steps to create a safe and accessible living environment, family caregivers can help older adults maintain their independence, happiness, and quality of life – all of which leads to better mental and physical health.

Making Bathrooms Safer and Easier to Use

Let’s start with the bathroom. Making bathrooms safer and easier to use is crucial for older adults who wish to age in place. The bathroom is a high-risk area for slips and falls, so making necessary modifications can greatly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.

One inexpensive modification is to install grab bars in strategic locations, such as next to the toilet and in the shower. These bars provide extra stability and support when navigating the bathroom. Additionally, non-slip mats or adhesive strips should be placed in the shower or bathtub to prevent slips. A sturdy, shower rated seat and a handheld shower makes showering easier and safer.

To make the bathroom itself more accessible, it’s important to consider the height of the fixtures. Installing a raised toilet seat can make it easier for older adults with mobility issues to use the bathroom without assistance. Similarly, replacing traditional faucets with lever-style handles can make it easier for older adults with limited dexterity to control the water flow and temperature.

Another important aspect to consider is adequate lighting. Ensuring that the bathroom is well-lit, both during the day and at night, can improve visibility and reduce the risk of accidents. Installing motion-activated lights and night lights along the path to the bathroom can be particularly helpful at night.

By hiring a professional to install these inexpensive modifications and adjustments, caregiver’s can create a safer and more accessible bathroom for older adults. This will allow them to maintain their independence and age in place with confidence and peace of mind.

Adapting the Kitchen for Increased Independence

Free Man in White Polo Shirt Holding a Bowl of Vegetables Stock Photo

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and for older adults aging in place, it’s crucial to make this space safe and accessible. Short of an expensive renovation, adapting the kitchen for increased independence can greatly improve the quality of life for older adults.

Rearranging and reorganizing kitchen cabinets and drawers is an easy, inexpensive way to increase accessibility of items used most often. This allows older adults to easily reach and access items without the need for a dangerous step stool. Installing pull-out shelves and lazy susans can make it easier to reach items stored in the back of cabinets, and specialized cabinets where shelves lower when opened can make even upper cabinets more accessible.

Another consideration for safety and accessibility is the installation of appliances that are older adult-friendly. This includes appliances with large, easy-to-read displays, buttons, and knobs, louder tones, and even appliances with automatic shut-off features for added safety.

Once again, lighting is essential. In the kitchen, lighting can be optimized to improve visibility and reduce the risk of accidents. Installing bright task lighting above workspaces and countertops can make it easier for older adults to cook safely. Adding motion-activated lights and under-cabinet lighting can also enhance safety, especially during nighttime trips to the kitchen.

By adapting the kitchen for self-sufficiency and independence, older adults can continue to enjoy the pleasure and financial benefits of cooking for themselves while maintaining their safety. With modifications in place, individuals can confidently age in place and maintain an all important sense of independence.

Importance of Clear Pathways and Fall Prevention

Preventing falls is an important goal when making a home safe and accessible. The CDC reports a sobering statistic – “About 36 million falls are reported among older adults each year—resulting in more than 32,000 deaths.”

Clear pathways and fall prevention are crucial aspects of creating a safe and accessible living environment for older adults planning to age in place. When pathways are cluttered or obstructed, it can increase the risk of falls and accidents. It’s essential to keep walkways clear and free from obstacles such as furniture, loose rugs, clutter, and cords. 

Installing handrails in hallways and staircases, as well as ensuring that stairs are well-lit and have non-slip treads, is an important modification to do before mobility is an issue.

Making pathways wide enough for walkers, wheelchairs, and other methods of ambulation support is a consideration an older adult should take while planning for aging in place. By prioritizing clear pathways and fall prevention, one can create a living environment that promotes the independence and well-being of our elderly loved ones. With a safe and accessible home, older adults can confidently navigate their living spaces and continue to age in place with peace of mind.

Evaluating and Improving Bedroom Safety

The bedroom may be a sanctuary for rest and relaxation, but for older adults who wish to age in place, it’s an essential room to evaluate for safety improvements. Start by assessing the layout of the bedroom to ensure that there is enough space to maneuver safely, drawers and cabinets can open freely, and essential items are easily accessible. Remove any unnecessary furniture or clutter that may pose a tripping hazard.

Consider installing grab bars near the bed to provide support and stability for getting in and out safely. Ensure that the bed is at an appropriate height for easy entry and exit, or invest in an adjustable bed or even a hospital-style bed. Bed rails to prevent falls during the night may be a necessary consideration. 

How envoyatHome’s Elderly Monitor Can Help Caregivers Support Older Adults Aging in Place

Supporting a loved one’s goal to age in place is a top priority for family caregivers. To accomplish this goal with older adult safety, dignity, and independence at the forefront is where envoyatHome’s Elderly Monitor can help. This innovative technology for caregivers of an older adult aging in place is affordable peace of mind for both family caregivers and their loved ones. 

envoyatHome’s Elderly Monitor technology uses no cameras, listening devices, buttons, bracelets, pendants, or chargers that compromise privacy or make it difficult for older adults on a cognitive journey. The system is almost invisible, inconspicuous, and requires no engagement by the older adult – ideal for caregivers of those with memory loss or on a cognitive journey.

Aging in place technology is so much more than smart home devices and panic buttons. Companies like envoyatHome are at the forefront of aging in place technology that keeps older adults living independently in their own homes for as long as possible.

About envoyatHome

envoyatHome is committed to caregivers of older adults aging in place. Featured in Kiplinger, Fortune, National Council on Aging, and, envoyatHome is a solution for caregivers that delivers full time, affordable senior care for the digital age. You can reach us at or 856.681.0076.

Let's Get Started

Contact envoyatHome Today

Contact Us

Contact envoyatHome

LEarn More

Additional Posts To Explore