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Safe Home Design Ideas for Seniors

Feb 27, 2019 by Ian Bongaardt

As the population of seniors in the United States increases, so does the number of seniors who want to continue to live independently in their homes. While this is understandable, the fact is that most homes in the US weren’t designed with an aging population in mind. In a perfect world, new homes would be built with universal home design, or design that is inherently accessible to seniors or disabled individuals. Until then, however, homeowners can choose to modify their homes.


Many homeowners hesitate to upgrade their homes due to perceived cost, but what they may not realize it that universal design can be easily incorporated into regular home maintenance and repair. Younger seniors and homeowners who begin incorporating these changes into their homes early can avoid potentially having to rush to renovate their homes as the need arises.


Below are a few low cost ways to start incorporating universal design into your home:

  • Raise electrical outlets and lower light switches so they can be easily reached, even from a sitting position.
  • Switch round doorknobs for lever handles. Lever handles are easier to open when a person is managing arthritis. They are also easier to open with full hands.
  • Install grab bars next to toilets and in showers and tubs.
  • Provide railings on both sides of all exterior and interior staircases.
  • Make sure each room has a sufficient number of outlets. This will prevent the senior from using extension cords that may run across a room and cause falls.
  • Switch round doorknobs for lever handles. Lever handles are easier to open


The following modifications may be a little more pricey, but also provide more security for you or your loved one:

  • Replace bathtubs with walk-in or roll-in showers to accommodate older individuals who have difficulty walking.
  • Replace the toilet with one that is taller, 17 to 19 inches high, to make it easier to use.
  • Ensure the home’s main level has a full bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and living area.
  • Replace flooring with non-slip flooring or low-pile carpet that is easy for walkers and wheelchairs to roll over.


If you’d like to learn more about how universal home design can help keep you or your loved one healthy, active, and independent, please visit us online or call us at (267) 293-7434. Our operators are available 24/7 to answer your questions and schedule your free in home consultation. 

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