Home Safety Services

Keeping Your Home Comfortable and Safe Well into Your Golden Years

Now more than ever, seniors are hoping they will be able to stay in their homes as they age. In fact, a survey by the AARP found that 76% of Americans age 50 and older say they prefer to remain in their current residence.

Of course, owning a home takes a lot of energy, and finding reliable help around the house can be challenging. That’s where handyman home safety services for seniors come in—a handyman can help make your home an appropriate place where you or your family member can age in place.

Aging in Place

When people get older, it becomes tougher to take care of maintenance around the home, but many older people want to keep their level of autonomy and independence. That’s where aging in place comes in: this is the practice of adjusting a home to include senior living options that allow seniors to continue living in their familiar home, comfortably, for much longer.

Why Seniors Prefer Aging in Place

Their routines and settings stay familiar. A person’s home is the most important place in their life. For many seniors, the biggest value of being able to age in place is having a place that they can call their own. Being able to stay in their most familiar and cherished space gives the ultimate sense of comfort and security and keeps a senior’s quality of life high.

They can maintain their independence. Physical decline can make life difficult for people as they age, and many seniors need help to accomplish tasks around their home. With a few adjustments throughout the home though, elderly adults can maintain independence in their own home and control their own routine.

They can save money. Assisted-living facilities and nursing homes are very expensive for seniors and their families, and those prices climb as a person needs more specialized care. While home modifications do cost money, aging in place is typically less expensive than moving into assisted living.

Home Safety Services at Blueladder Handyman & Construction

Home Modification Tips to Maintain Safety and Mobility for Seniors

Of course, it may not necessarily be possible for elderly adults to live independently forever. We can modify a home to make it safer and more accommodating to a person with mobility challenges, so they can stay in their home for years longer. Here are some common modifications that can be made to help seniors age in place and stay safe in their own homes:

  • Create Clear Paths: Those extra chairs in the dining room or that rogue rug that sits in the doorway could become potential hazards as people age. As depth perception and balance changes, clear paths, and plenty of space to walk will help keep safety and mobility for seniors in their homes.
  • Install Electric Stair Lifts: Don’t wait until a fall or until there is a struggle to make it up the stairs to install a lift—keep every floor of a home accessible early on so a senior can easily travel between floors.
  • Widen Doorways and Hallways: It can be quite the undertaking, but homes—especially older ones—aren’t necessarily built to fit a wheelchair or walker. That means doors and hallways may need to be widened to accommodate if needed.
  • Simplify and Maintain Flooring: fewer transitions in the types of flooring surfaces in your home, the better off a senior’s home will be because there will be less need for tripping hazards through thresholds like saddles. Flooring should also be easy to clean and slip-resistant to make it safe but easy to maintain.
  • Upgrade Lighting: With aging comes difficulties with sight, which can be partially remedied with bright spaces that have good lighting. Also, modifying the types of lights used can make a huge difference as well—LED light bulbs last longer and don’t have to be replaced often.
  • Arthritis-Friendly Doorknobs: Lever style doorknobs are easier to grip and shift open than round doorknobs because they don’t require twisting or a completely closed fist. This is helpful for people who have conditions that limit motion like arthritis. New lever door openers are cheap to purchase and can easily be replaced by a handyman service.
  • Install Ramps and Maintain Outdoor Walking Spaces: Falls are a nightmare for seniors because they can result in broken bones or other serious injury. Outdoors, hazards like uneven or broken sidewalks, overgrown shrubbery, broken or protruding tree branches, or stray gravel in main walkways can cause falls. A regular maintenance service can keep walkways clear to increase safety and mobility for seniors.
  • Make Entrances Accessible: Every senior-friendly home should have at least one wheelchair-accessible entryway. Whether that means adding a ramp, removing trim, or adding pocket doors to made doorways wider, these are must-have investments for senior-friendly homes that are designed for aging in place.
  • Make Bathrooms Accessible: Bathroom accessibility is a must-have to increase safety and mobility for seniors. A few things that can be done to a home to make it easier to age in place include replacing a tub with a walk-in shower with a low ledge, adding grab bars into the shower/tub area, incorporating a shower chair, and having an extendable showerhead. In addition to the shower, replacing the toilet with a raised toilet seat can help alleviate pain. Bathroom adjustments are essential to help aging adults stay independent for longer.
  • Make Kitchens Accessible: The kitchen is a tough modification for aging in place because it’s an area where people are used to standing a lot and they are usually built to accommodate that. Modifying for wheelchair or walker-accessibility in a kitchen can mean updating cabinets to include more drawers and pull-outs so seniors don’t have to bend down to peer into cabinets. It can also mean replacing the flooring to make it more slip-resistant and easier to stand on (using materials like vinyl, linoleum, wood, or cork flooring that have more give and are easier on legs and ankles). Modifications can also include adjusting where appliances are located to make them easier to access.
  • Make It Easy to Contact People Outside the Home: It’s especially important that every room of an elderly person’s house have a way to contact someone for help. Whether that means a phone in every room, a cell phone in the pocket, or a panic button-type system, it’s essential for seniors to be able to call for help when they need to.
  • Keep Things Low Maintenance: In general, senior-friendly homes need to be updated with state-of-the-art materials to make sure they need as little maintenance as possible. Vinyl siding, asphalt roofing [link to roofing page], and landscape irrigation, all have the double benefit of looking great, but also being long-lasting.

The Everyday Handyman Advantage

As people age, we may experience more and more difficulty in performing regular tasks on our own, which makes maintaining our homes a hassle. That’s where our professional handymen at Everyday Handyman Handyman & Construction come in: they can help create a space that lets you live independently in your own home for years longer than you might be able to otherwise. We can implement modifications and additions to make everyday tasks such as cooking, bathing, and entertaining more accessible, easy, and safe. We put safety and mobility for seniors first, but also prioritize letting you be more independent and age in place.

Learn more about how Everyday Handyman Handyman & Construction can modify a home to help you or your loved one age in place safely and independently.