Remodeled kitchen Remodeled kitchen

Home Modifications for Aging in Place

When making home modifications to age in place, first consider the areas of the home that present the most trouble or concern for you. If you find certain items difficult to use, like turning doorknobs or operating light switches, modify those things first. If there are potential tripping or falling hazards, eliminate them or modify them accordingly. And if you are always struggling to reach the upper shelves in your kitchen, think about a friendlier kitchen design. Taking a proactive approach to modifying the home means that you can age in place independently and safely with confidence.

Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling That Makes Aging in Place Safe

Here are a few tips for the two most popular rooms in the house:


  • Roll-in, barrier-free shower (approximately $3,000 to $5,000) – Trying to get in and out of a tub safely is a huge risk for anyone. This is not the cheapest way for a safe shower, but it’s a popular one.
  • Tub cutout (approximately $900) – An installer cuts a U-shaped opening in the tub and seals the opening with a nice closure to create a passageway into the tub that has a 5-inch lip on the bottom. Now all you have to do is walk over the 5 inches instead of the entire height of the tub. The tub cutout also comes with a door if you wish to take a bath.
  • Nonslip tiles – There are many variations of tiles that can be used to create a nonslip floor. “Textured” or “skid resistant” is what you need to look for on the box. These tiles can be found most anywhere. Stay away from tiles that are marked “honed” or “polished,” as they will be slippery when wet.
  • Raised toilet – I like the “Toilevator,” which raises the entire toilet from the floor. Then there is no need to put a raised toilet seat on top of the toilet that can become loose and slip off.
  • Grab bars – Moen and Kohler make great-styled bars that also function as towel bars, soap holders and toilet paper holders. They are manufactured in brushed nickel, chrome and white-coated finishes.


  • Side-by-side door refrigerator – Easy to use for all ages and abilities.
  • Raise up the dishwasher 5 to 8 inches – Remain more upright and save your back.
  • Microwave – Forget over-the-stove models and get a drawer or countertop unit.
  • Lighting – Under-cabinet lights make cooking a lot easier by lighting up the workspace.
  • Countertops – Use a different color on the edges, so you can see where the counter ends to avoid anything falling off.

Home renovations can be performed because of a need you have now, or to be proactive toward a safe and sound future.

The National Association of Home Builders created an “Aging-in-Place Remodeling Checklist” for the entire house. In it, you will find other renovation ideas to help you create a safer and more enjoyable living environment.

Author Valerie Jurik-Henry

Valerie Jurik-Henry is a professional national speaker on aging in place, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), an author and a business adviser/consultant. With over 30 years’ experience in healthcare and housing, she has a unique view when it comes to educating families, businesses and industries.

Share this resource

Related Articles

caregiver sitting with senior on porch
A Safer Home for Senior Independence
Surveys of people aged 50 and older show that a large majority want to age in place, staying in their own homes even as their health needs change. But as the years pass, families often wonder if older loved ones are still safe living at home. It’s time to evaluate the suitability of the home and learn about improvements that can help your loved one’s house, condo or apartment better meet their changing needs. Here are modifications that could help the home adapt.
Read more
smiling senior and younger ladies
Adapting the Home When a Loved One Has Alzheimer’s Disease
Home safety is imperative for those living with Alzheimer’s. Learn creative adaptations that can make the home safer.
Read more
Home Modifications Could Help Seniors Stay Safe and Healthy. What’s the Holdup?
A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that few homes in the U.S. are fully equipped for the needs of older adults. Though home modifications could help seniors stay at home longer, there are barriers to removing those barriers! The cost and a lack of awareness might stand in the way—and so could the stigma that’s unfortunately associated with age-related design features.
Read more

Need help right now? Call us anytime at

(877) 697-7537