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Aging In Place Home Modifications: The Ultimate Guide

Where do you begin choosing when it comes aging in place home modifications? Which is right for you? Here’s a helpful guide.

Aging In Place Home Modifications: The Ultimate Guide - ACP

As a homeowner, you may have been hearing more about aging in place. What is it, and what does it mean to you? It’s something you’ll want to consider, especially if you’re thinking about retirement and what comes afterward.

Here’s your ultimate guide to aging in place in your own home.

What Is ‘Aging In Place’?

Firstly, you need to know what ‘aging in place’ actually is. The practice refers to staying in your own home as you grow older, rather than moving to a retirement home or similar facility. As we are living longer overall, many are thinking about how they can stay in their own homes for longer, without needing to move elsewhere.

As such, many are now making adjustments to their homes, to allow them to stay in their own homes even when they may need some additional help getting around. If you make the plans and make adjustments now, your home will be ready for when you need them. It’s a good idea to make these changes now, when if you are in perfect health. You may still need them once you get older, and it’ll be good for you to be ready.

Making Ageing In Place Modifications

When you start planning for ‘aging in place,’ you don’t need to drastically change your home. It’s more about making small modifications that will make life easier, without affecting the look of your home overall. The modifications you’ll need will differ depending on the room, so here’s a rundown of what you’ll need to do.

1. Home Wide Modifications

There are some changes you can make that will be helpful throughout your entire home. For example, look at changing out your door handles. Door levers are easier to grasp than knobs, so make the change now. There are other modifications that will help those with limited mobility too, such as changing light switches to rocker style panels. 

Also, consider how technology can help with aging in place. For example, you can use tech to lock doors, turn lights on, and operate the thermostat all from your smartphone. However, you will need to consider any upkeep, and how malfunctions could affect you. 

2. Lighting

Lighting is something that you should consider when you’re looking to make modifications. As you age, it’s likely that you may deal with less than ideal depth perception. With the correct lighting, you can help avoid any trips and falls due to this.

The best lighting for this indirect lighting, with a color temperature of around 2,700. You can also include two way switches, which are especially helpful in bedrooms. 

3. Flooring

Flooring is another key piece of aging in place, as again you’ll be looking to reduce tripping risks. In these cases, you can go for cork, rubber and linoleum. They’re smooth flooring surfaces, and they’ll be kinder on your joints.

If you can, avoid any level changes in your flooring. If it’s unavoidable, signal the level change with a change in material, texture, or color. You can even simply paint the level change, so it’s obvious to you. 

4. Bathroom

This is one of the major places where you’ll need to make changes. As you grow older, you may need some help in bathing. If you make the changes now, it allows you to continue living on your own and using your bathroom safely. 

The biggest changes will need to be to your bathtub and your shower. If you have a separate shower cubicle, then you should try and install a no entry floor on it to eliminate trip risks. Putting a shower seat in there also helps you shower comfortably and safely.

Replacing the bathtub with a walk in model will help with mobility too, as well as adding in grab bars. Proper grab bars can take body weight easily, making bathing a whole lot safer. They’re very easy to install too.

5. Kitchen

The kitchen is another area where you’ll need to make some changes, in order for the kitchen to be safe to use. On top of all the other changes you’ll be making, such as changing out the flooring, you need to consider creating lower work surfaces. If anyone in your home will be using a wheelchair or other mobility device, they’ll need a surface that’s lower, so they can still reach it.

A good way of implementing this is by using a rolling kitchen island. It can be bought to reach the right height, and when it’s not in use it can be rolled to the side, out of the way.

As well as this, think about your cabinet placement. You’ll want them to be low enough that you can reach everything you need safely. Don’t place any cabinets over your stove, as this poses a safety hazard.

Consider the handles on your cabinet doors and drawers, too. A D pull is usually best for those with less than excellent mobility.

6. Bedroom

Finally, let’s consider your bedroom. There are some changes you can make here, to make it better for aging in place. The biggest change you can make is relocating it downstairs. If mobility is an issue, it’s much easier to have it downstairs so you don’t have to climb the stairs to get to it. Also, having a lower profile bed will help a lot for getting in and out of it. Bed rails can also help with this.

It’s worth having a phone outlet installed next to your bed, too. That allows you to have easy access to the phone, should you need to call anyone in an emergency. Take a look at your closet too, adding lighting in there and pull down rods makes it easier to use.


There are so many ways that you can implement aging in place modifications in your home. This is just a starter guide, to show you how it could be done. Use these tips to change your home now, so you’re ready when you need them.