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Ten Ways to Safe Seniorize Your Home with Aging in Place Design

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One of the fastest growing segments of the population are those reaching retirement. There are aging in place design needs to consider in creating a safe home environment. As we age, our visual acuity, strength, coordination, and reflex abilities diminish. We will not be able to quickly react to breaking a fall, nor will we recover from injury as well as when we were younger.  It is important to remove hazards and be strategic about preventing accidents. (These prioritized tips are for a single level home. There are risks with stairs as well.)

There is higher risk of injuries in the bathroom. The bathroom is a room of hard surfaces, than when wet can become slippery and a fall could cause serious injury. There are few, if any, soft places to land in a bathroom!

  • Install radiant floor heating under textured vinyl tile. Vinyl tile is a softer material to land on, and easy to clean. A warm floor will eliminate the need for mats which are trip hazards
  • Choose faucets with levered handles, and have lever handle on doors as well for ease of operation.
  • Use lit rocker or slide dimmer switch to help one locate it for nocturnal visits
  • Install a comfort height toilet with grab bars to aid in transition.
  • Specify countertops have round corners to eliminate sharp edges.
  • Install a no threshold walk in shower, with shower bench, grab bars, hand held shower option
  • Include a Tornado Body Dryer for easy of drying off after a shower, staying warm. It also helps remove excess moisture out of air.

In the kitchen you want to minimize the risk of a cook seriously cutting or burning themselves.

  • Supply ample task lighting for food prep
  • Install an induction cooktop with easily reached control knobs. It will automatically shut down if no pan is present, and it only heats the pan, so is cooler to the touch
  • Have wall ovens with side hinge door with a nearby landing space for easy removal and placement of hot item

More people will want and need Aging in Place Design elements in the home to improve safety and facilitate independent living.  Contact a local Certified Aging in Place Specialist, or hire a remodeling company that has professionals certified in Universal Design to help one live in a safer home as much as possible.

Happy home remodeling!



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