advertisement...
Senior Resources » Home Modification Tips for Aging in Place

Home Modification Tips for Aging in Place

Many older adults want to stay living in their own homes for as long as possible. But being able to do so will depend on how easy it is to maneuver your living space as you get older. Here are some helpful resources you can turn to, to get an idea of the different types of features and improvements that will make your house safer and more convenient as you grow older.

Advertisement.
Home Modification Tips for Aging in Place

Home Evaluation

A good first step in making your home more age-friendly is to do an assessment. Go through your house, room-by-room, looking for problem areas like potential tripping or slipping hazards, as well as areas that are hard to access and difficult to maintain. To help with this, there are several organizations that have aging-in-place checklists that point out potential problems in each area of the home, along with modifications and solutions.

For example, Rebuild Together has a two-page “Safe at Home Checklist” that’s created in partnership with the Administration on Aging and the American Occupational Therapy Association. Go to AOTA.org and search for “Rebuilding Together Safe at Home Checklist.” 

Advertisement.

You also need to get a copy of AARP’s “HomeFit Guide.” This excellent 36-page guide has more than 100 aging-in-place tips and suggestions that can be made to an existing house or apartment or incorporated into designs for a new residence.

It explains how a smartly designed or modified home can meet the varied and changing needs of its older residents. It also features easy-to-do, low-cost, and no-cost fixes that lessen the risk of trip hazards and increase the safety of high-use areas like the bathroom, kitchen, and stairway. 

Related: Fall Prevention: 5 Ways to Modify Your Home & Minimize Accidents

In addition, they also offer videos and a HomeFit AR app (available for iPhone and iPad) that can scan a room and suggest improvements to help turn your house into a “lifelong home,” free from safety and mobility risks.

Advertisement.

Visit AARP.org/HomeFit to order or download a free copy of this guide, or to watch their videos.

In-Home Assessments

If you want some personalized help, you can get a professional in-home assessment with an occupational therapist. 

An occupational therapist, or OT, can evaluate the challenges and shortcomings of your home for aging in place, recommend design and modification solutions, and introduce you to products and services to help you make improvements. 

Recommended: Should My Contractor Be CAPS-Certified?

To find an OT in your area, check with your physician, health insurance provider, or local hospital, or seek recommendations from family and friends. Many health insurance providers, including Medicare, will pay for a home assessment by an OT if prescribed by your doctor. However, they will not cover the physical upgrades to the home.

Advertisement.

Another option is to contact a builder who’s a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). CAPS are home remodelers and design-build professionals that are knowledgeable about aging in place home modifications and can suggest ways to modify or remodel your home that will fit your needs and budget. CAPS are generally paid by the hour or receive a flat fee per visit or project. 

To find a CAPS in your area visit the National Association of Home Builders website at NAHB.org/capsdirectory where you can search by state and city, or visit Senior Resource.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org.



Originally published September 19, 2022

Free Senior Resources

Ultimate Guide to Bathroom Safety Cover

Ultimate Guide to Bathroom Safety

Get The Guide
Blessings for Baby Boomers

Blessings for Baby Boomers

Get The Guide

Step by Step Guide to Providing Home Care

Get The Guide

Medicare Prescription Survival Guide

Get The Guide
Get weekly tips on housing, retirement living, senior care, and more sent right to your inbox.
Get Senior Resource in Your Inbox
X
Boost Your Social Security Income by 76%!

Bob Carlson, America's leading retirement expert, reveals the big secret the IRS won't tell you.

Get Bob's report, FREE of charge along with a complimentary subscription to Retirement Watch Weekly, delivered to your email inbox each week along with other financial news and offers from our valued partners. We value your privacy.