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Why Modify/Remodel Your Home to Age in Place?

Remodeling the home can lead to increased safety, greater freedom to live independently, flexibility for changing health needs, and peace of mind for family caregivers.


  • Inadequate lighting


  • Keep lights on in rooms most often occupied.
  • Use brighter bulbs and more light fixtures.
  • Consider a night light for dark passageways.
  • During the day, open curtains and shades
    to let in more sunlight.
  • Install lighting for pathways from bedroom to bathroom
    and by steps/stairways.

  • Sliding throw rugs
  • Upended or curled carpet edges
  • Use only slip-resistant rugs and mats (add nonskid matting to existing rugs, if needed).
  • Add carpet tape to keep carpet edges from curling.

  • Clutter
  • Clear all pathways and steps of objects and furnishings.

Seniors identified home modifications to be important.

Any Difficulty at Home With...

Walking around?

  • Wear shoes and slippers with nonslip soles that grip the floor.
  • Consider using a cane to help maintain balance.

Getting up from chairs?

  • Use sturdy chairs with armrests.
  • Add firm foam pads to chair and sofa seats.

Getting up from the bed?

  • Move the bed against the wall to prevent the bed from sliding.
  • Replace the existing mattress with one thinner to lower the bed height or with one thicker to raise the bed height.
  • Attach a handrail near the bed.

Getting objects from kitchen cabinets and closet shelves?

  • Store everyday dishes/kitchen supplies within easy reach.
  • Keep items no lower than waist level or no higher than shoulder height to avoid excessive bending, stooping and reaching
  • If you must use a step stool, get one with a bar to hold on to; never use a chair as a step stool.

Getting in and out of the bathtub or shower?

  • Consider a tub/shower chair and grab bars (towel bars are not designed for this).
  • Place nonskid rubber mats or decals on the tub/shower floor.

Transitioning to the toilet?

  • Consider an elevated toilet seat and grab bars.

Walking up and down steps or stairs?

  • Don’t rush; take your time and look directly at each step.
  • Don’t carry large packages or baskets that obstruct your vision.
  • Watch as you place each foot firmly on the steps.
  • Clear stair steps of any items.
  • Add handrails to all steps and stairs.
  • Consider installing extra lighting at the top and bottom steps.

Where to Go From Here

View the four step behavioral process of making the decision to modify a home or view other home modification solutions to common home hazards.

The Behavioral Side of Change Additional Home Modifications

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