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50+ Unknown Home Remodelling Ideas for Seniors Comfort and Safety [A Rare Guide]

The layout of the home for the elderly consists of installing new equipment adapted to their daily lives. 

This can be the automation of doors and shutters, the optimization of lighting, or the installation of specific sanitary facilities, such as the wall-mounted shower seat and raised toilets.

This development is explained by the loss of autonomy of the elderly over the years. As a result, they can no longer move freely around their homes and are even exposed to the risk of accidents. 

Securing the home is, therefore, an important point for seniors, hence the need to put in place suitable objects, furniture, and accessories.

The choice of seniors on the arrangements to be made depends entirely on their physical condition and the layout of their accommodation.

There are different possibilities available to them. The layout does not necessarily have to focus on a medical facility. A simple aesthetic renovation is often enough to meet the expectations of the elderly.

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Remodelling Ideas

1. Accessibility

  • Accessibility is one of the most important things to look after if you are planning to remodel your house for your senior. 
  • Try remodeling in such a way that the places which are used on a daily basis such as the bathroom and toilet can be easily reached. 
  • They should be in a comfortable place and the width of the door should also be sufficient for your seniors to pass.

2. Reachability

  • This is another factor to consider while remodeling your home. 
  • As people age, our movement naturally slows down and they find it hard to reach difficult places. 
  • You must consider this factor and remodel your house in such a way that your seniors won’t find it difficult to find their essential items.

3. Assistance

  • Seniors suffering from health issues require a lot of assistance for their daily life. 
  • So, remodel your house in such a way that they feel comfortable and get proper assistance in their day-to-day life. 
  • This will decrease their pain a bit and will give them a great amount of comfort.

4. Safety

  • It is another very essential factor which should be taken seriously. Having seniors in the house means more risk. 
  • So, it’s better to prevent any kind of accidents by remodeling the house to make it as safe for the seniors as possible.

1. Shower

1. Installing Detachable Showerheads is a Good Idea

    • Due to aging, seniors often face difficulty in movements. Due to which they struggle a lot in the bathroom.
    • But, installing a showerhead that is detachable will surely make their work a lot easier. 
    • Make sure that the showerhead is at a certain height where your seniors can easily reach and get hold of it. 
    • You can also place a removable hand shower by mounting it at a preferable height.

2. The shower bars should be Blocked

  • Many times when the grab bars are not mounted properly, they tend to loosen off which can result in an accident.
  • It’s better to take preventive measures before such accidents take place. 
  • To properly block the bars, you can place a horizontal wood blocking. This should be placed at a suitable height. 
  • You can try other methods of blocking off bars as well. But placing a horizontal wood blocking is the most secure and inexpensive way.

3. Avoid keeping Bathtubs

  • A normal shower is a better option to install in your bathroom when there are seniors in your house.
  • The bathtubs can cause certain unwanted accidents as they need to be stepped on to get in. A simple slip can cause great physical damages. 
  • The bathtub also takes a lot of space which could have been used for other purposes.
  • If you already have a bathtub installed in your homes and you are calling your seniors to stay with you. Then, eliminating the tub will be a safer option.

4. Install Tension Pole

  • If you have any constraints installing a grab bar then you can also opt for installing a tension Pole in your shower. 
  • These are poles that contain spring inside them and are mainly used for placing curtains in the shower. But, you can make better use of it. 
  • Getting it installed in your shower from floor to ceiling will provide your elderly a support while using the shower. This is a great alternative for grab bars.

5. Get a Shower Chair

  • If your seniors face extreme issues in standing then getting a shower chair for them is a very good idea. 
  • This is a very useful chair for people who face difficulty in standing or for those who need to rest frequently. 
  • There are various types of shower chairs available in the market. 
  • You should select a chair that is comfortable and is anti-slip. It should also be strong enough.
  • This has now become a common product for the people who have elders in their homes. 

2. Toilet

6. Install a Raised Toilet

  • Normal toilets can be problematic for seniors who face difficulty in sitting down. It can be quite painful for them to sit on a low-level toilet. 
  • That’s why it’s better to install a toilet which is at a comfortable height for the senior. There are mainly two ways of doing it. 
  • First, you can use toilet seats which are portable. They are cheaper and do the job perfectly.
  • You can also use raised bowels which are available in the market nowadays. But, they are slightly expensive.

7. Toilet Safety Frame can also be Installed

  • Toilet safety frames are basically railed with armrests. They are installed at the back of the toilet to provide support for an individual while sitting. 
  • Elders who have no problem sitting down but face difficulty in the to and fro movement from the toilet seat can take help from it.
  • These are not so expensive and can be easily found in the market. 
  • It is very easy to install them and their heights can also be adjusted accordingly.

3. Bathroom Floor

8. Install Anti-Slip Floor

  • A bathroom is a place where you can find a lot of water splashes. This makes the surface slippery and can cause great damage to one. 
  • You must take care of this by evaluating if the surface is capable of handling wheelchairs on it. 
  • For precautions, it is better to install an Anti-Slip Floor in your bathroom. This will provide a much better surface with no slipping mechanism. 
  • You can also go for vinyl flooring as it is cheaper and requires less maintenance. 
  • It is also water-resistant which makes it quite durable and once installed will give you safety for the long run.

9. Stop the Accumulation of Water

  • Due to the constant use of water, many times water gets collected on the bathroom surface. It causes the surface to get slippery. 
  • This accumulation of water in your bathroom should be avoided for safety. One of the best ways of doing it is to install anti-slip rugs. 
  • Normal rugs can cause the water to get collected on them. But after replacing them with the anti-slip rug, you can be confident about water not getting collected on the surface. 
  • These are not so expensive and can be easily installed without any hard work.

10. Label the Faucets

  • The bathroom has all kinds of faucets for both cold and hot water. Your elderly can get confused while using them. 
  • It is a good practice to level them for better use. If you are too concerned about this then you can replace the normal faucets with anti-scald faucets. 
  • These stop the hot or cold water which is being suddenly directed towards the elders. It instead redirects to other parts such as the flush of the toilet. 
  • Installing a water heater is also a great option for keeping the average temperature of the water in check.

11. There should be Proper Lighting

  • It is very essential to have proper lighting in your bathroom. It helps your seniors to navigate properly and there is less risk of any accident. 
  • Today, there are all kinds of different lighting companies that are providing services to set up your bathroom’s lighting at an affordable price. 
  • You can choose among the best systems and get them installed right away. 
  • Your bathroom will look more classy and brighter than before.

12. The Doorway width should be wide Enough

  • The width of the doorway which leads to your bathroom should be enough for your elderly and their wheelchair to pass. 
  • A narrow doorway will make it harder for them to reach the bathroom. 
  • This should be checked and you get a good opportunity to get your doorway broadened during the remodeling of your house. 
  • You also can do that according to your house’s interior so that everything looks the same and not mismatched. 

13. Telephone in your Bathroom

  • Yes, this is a lifesaver tip. Having a telephone in your bathroom can become a medium of alarm if your elders face some health issues while being in the bathroom. 
  • You can buy a normal cheaper telephone if facing budget issues as it is surely not going to be used frequently. 
  • The bills would also not be too much to pay. 
  • This will give you a sense of relief about your elders when they are not on your radar.

14. The Door should be opened properly

  • Due to water leakage or some other problems, the bathroom door sometimes gets stuck. 
  • This can be a problem when you are not in the house and your elders want to use the bathroom. 
  • You should check the movement of the bathroom door frequently. 
  • Try replacing the normal doorknob with a lever doorknob. 
  • The opening of the door will become much smoother and easier for your elders. 
  • These small renovations can have a great impact on their lives and make their life much easier.

15. Bathroom essentials should be within Reach

  • You should place bathroom essentials such as towels, shampoo, etc within the reach of your elders. 
  • It should be placed in such a place according to your bathroom that the elders don’t find it difficult to get a hold of it. 
  • You can place them at a certain area and height which is perfect for their reach and they will not have to stretch much. This will be a boon in disguise for the comfort of your seniors.

1. Shelves & Furniture

1. Round the Edges

  • The edges of the furniture or open shelves in the kitchen should not be sharp. They shouldn’t have 90-degree angles. 
  • Because this can be more painful for adults if they get hit from the corners. This can even cause them to fall on the ground leading to more serious injuries. 
  • So, for precaution, it will be a great idea to round them and make them smoother. 
  • This will create a safer environment for the elders in the kitchen.

2. Use Drawers instead of Doors

  • People usually keep doors for the store where items are kept. But when you have elders in your house. 
  • Then, it’s a good practice to keep drawers instead of doors. 
  • The drawers are easy to open and all the items stored in them are displayed at once. You don’t need to bend down and search for a specific item. 
  • Don’t worry about their capacity. There are large drawers that can even accommodate big pots and pans. You elders will find it much easier with drawers than the doors.

3. The Appliances and Cabinets should be without Frills

  • Like the shelves & furniture, even the appliances and cabinets also possess many frills and sharp edges. 
  • This can again cause great danger for your elders. They may get hit by the sharp edges and it can be quite painful. 
  • Tripping over after getting hit is also very common which leads to serious health issues. 
  • That’s why it’s better to buy appliances and cabinets which are very compact in nature. And they don’t possess any sharp edges.

4. Place appliances at the Counter

  • It’s also a good idea to place an appliance like a microwave at the counter height. 
  • This gives you a very comfortable height to work with it. It minimizes the risk of bending down for your elders. 
  • Although, it may seem like the appliance is eating your counter space. It provides great safety and comfort in return. 
  • If you are having space constraints, then buying compact and smaller appliances is also a good idea. You will not only save your counter space but also a few bucks as well.

5. Installing Pull Out Pantry is also a good Idea

  • If you don’t want to install several drawers in your kitchen then you may opt for a better alternative called Pullout Pantry. 
  • It is like a cabinet that stores all kinds of items from food to utensils in a single place. It is very easy to open and the knob is at a comfortable height for your elders to reach. 
  • This may look like a bit of an expensive investment but it is all worth it in the long run. 
  • It not only assembles necessary items in a single place but also helps in providing comfort and safety.

2. Sink

6. Stove & Sink should be Closer

  • Old age people face difficulty carrying water from the sink to the stove. So, it’s a very innovative option of keeping the sink near the stove. 
  • Although, the space for working shouldn’t be compromised. 
  • You should take care of the workspace as well.

7. Shallow Sink is a Good Option

  • The deeper the sink, the more a person has to bend to wash something. 
  • That’s why you should opt for a shallow sink in your kitchen. 
  • It will provide great comfort to everyone using the sink. 5 to 7 inches will be more than enough. 

3. Others

8. Corners should be Accessible

  • There is a trend of installing blind cabinets in the corners. Although, they save a lot of space. An unwanted amount of items gets collected over there. 
  • Which leads to more bending and shrinking motion to assess them. This can be quite uncomfortable for an adult. 
  • You can install cabinets that are much easier to reach and don’t require enough movement. 
  • There are many options to choose from and they are also affordable.

9. Your Kitchen should have Enough Space

  • We already talked about using compact appliances and cabinets to cut down space. 
  • But, there are also few other modifications that can increase the speed in between the opposing walls. Make sure that there is enough space for a wheelchair to pass. 
  • There are various types of kitchen shapes. You can choose the best design suitable for your house.
  • Enough space in your kitchen means fewer chances of getting hits and falls. This indeed adds extra security for your elders in the kitchen.

10. Slip-Resistant Floors

  • The kitchen surface experiences frequent water splashes on it. This causes it to become much more slippery. 
  • And any surface which is slippery invites a lot of accidents. So, when installing your kitchen’s flooring make sure that the material used is waterproof. 
  • Materials such as ceramic are waterproof whereas porcelain tile absorbs less water. 
  • The surface should be smooth but at the same time should have enough grip for your feet. 
  • This will ensure safety for the most vulnerable people in the house, the seniors. 

1. Make a Plan before Modifying

  • It’s always better to make a plan before doing something. That concept applies here too. 
  • You should do an overall assessment of your house and check for places that are hard to reach or can cause tripping. You can even ask your seniors about their life in the house. 
  • Which part of the house do they feel more comfortable with and where do they feel uncomfortable? You will get a clear view and greater clarity.

2. Call a Professional for Assessment

  • If you don’t have enough confidence in your assessing skills then giving a call to a professional will be a good idea. 
  • Of Course, the professional will charge some money but he will assess all the parts of your house such as the exterior, kitchen, bathroom, etc. 
  • And will give you a detailed review with tips as well.

3. Make More Space By Removing Unnecessary Items

  • We all have a lot of junk-filled in our house. But, we keep tripping on them and won’t make an effort to remove them due to our sheer laziness. 
  • This attitude can cause serious accidents when elders are moving around in a compact house. It’s better to make as much space for them as possible. 
  • Remove all the old sofas, rugs or furniture which are not required anymore. 
  • Your house should have sufficient space for the easy movement of your elders.

4. Consult an Occupational Therapist

  • An occupational therapist is a person who has a great understanding of the functioning of an individual. He/she will be properly able to guide you in remodeling your house. 
  • The therapist will give you a person-centric detailing which is very crucial while remodeling the house. 
  • You can use the data given by the therapist to properly plan out the whole remodeling. 
  • For once, consulting an occupational therapist will sound like a waste of money but it will actually help you to save a lot of money in the long run.
  • If you properly remodel your house according to your senior’s requirement in the first run then there will be no need for future remodeling of your house.

5. Call Call a Certified Aging in Place Expert

  • A certified aging-in-place expert is a person who has expertise in designing houses for the elderly. 
  • This is the best person to contact when remodeling your house for the seniors. 
  • They will be able to give the most accurate tips and recommendations for your house. You should definitely contact them. 
  • Don’t think about the fee because remodeling your house is not an everyday job. 
  • It’s better to get the work done perfectly on the first try rather than leaving some work for the future. 

6. Create a No-Step entry if Possible

  • Step entry requires stretching and bending to enter inside them. 
  • Having at least one no-step entry in your house will provide great comfort for your seniors while moving in and out of the house.  
  • Although, making a no-step entry is not possible in many areas. Places which are on the downward slope and experience heavy rainfall are not idle for no-step entry as the rainwater will gush in the house. You can try some innovative ideas instead.

7. Pocket Door is a Good Option

  • If your house is already compact and you don’t have enough budget to widen it then you can try installing pocket doors instead of normal doors with hinges. 
  • A pocket door is actually a sliding door that gets inside the wall once opened, saving a lot of space and reducing the risk of any bumps. 
  • Moving a wheelchair through the pocket doors is also very easy. 
  • It will surely provide great comfort for your seniors.

8. Electric Stair Lift for More Safety

  • Electric stair lifts are slightly expensive but completely worth it. They help in the easier and safer movement of the senior to the second floor. 
  • At our elder’s age, they face many difficulties moving around and especially climbing stairs. Their muscles are not strong enough to carry their body upwards to the second floor. 
  • There is always a risk of them tripping down and getting hurt. 
  • So, installing electric stairs in your house reduces the risks of accidents and provides great comfort to your seniors.

9. Elevators can also do the Job

  • If you are looking for a more modern and advanced alternative option for electric stairs then you can opt for elevators.
  • If your house is big enough and has multiple floors then having them in your house is a boon for your elders. 
  • It will provide them an easy and comfortable option for moving around the house on the different floors. 
  • This is a lucrative device as well and attracts a lot of attention.

10. Widen your Doors

  • Narrow doors can limit the movement of wheelchairs and stuff. It is very crucial to have doors that are wide enough for your elders to pass comfortably. 
  • You can call a local contractor and give him the work to measure and widen your house doors. 
  • Make sure that they are widened enough and finish the flooring as well. This may sound like an expensive investment but it is very beneficial in the long run.

11. Install Non-Slippery & Soft Floors

  • Flooring is a crucial part of a house interior. If you have seniors living in your house then it is recommended that your flooring should be non-slippery and soft. 
  • You may need to change your current flooring if it doesn’t match with this idle configuration for seniors.
  • There are floors made up of ceramic that are water-resistant and smooth. They don’t allow water to get collected and hence fewer chances of tripping. 
  • The texture of the floor is also very important. The surface should be smooth and also soft. It should provide proper grip while walking on it.

12. Universal Design is the Best

  • The concept of universal design has been in the market since the early 1990s. It is a way of designing houses and making them compatible for people of all age groups. 
  • This requires a lot of planning and plotting. Many experienced professionals have to sit together and assess your house to decide on a design that can provide comfort to all age groups. 
  • Of course, the comfort of the senior is kept as the major priority. This is an expensive method but is quite durable and valuable for money in the long run.

13. Bed should be suitable for Elders

  • As humans age, they find more difficulty in falling asleep. Our seniors generally don’t have a good experience sleeping on a normal bed. 
  • While remodeling your house, this issue should also be handled with precision. 
  • Buying a bed that is best for the seniors will provide the much-needed rest which they need. 
  • An adjustable bed with the ability to increase & decrease in height when needed can be a great option. You can also look out for hospital beds.

14. Exterior should be Smooth

  • Exterior or walkway is the area just outside of the main door where people generally walk to go out or get in the house. 
  • This place also becomes a path for evening walks of our seniors. If the surface of the walkway is rough and has sharp stones coming out then it can be quite problematic.
  • A simple fall on them can lead to serious damage for the elders. So, the smoothness of the walkways should also be kept in check.

15. Replace Round Door knobs with Lever Knobs

  • The surface of the round doorknobs is quite slippery and it requires more force to open. Many seniors are unable to open the door which has a round door knob. 
  • It will be a great idea of replacing all your doors with round knobs with lever knobs. 
  • The lever knobs are much easier to open and don’t require a great amount of force. It is much easier to grip than the round knob.

16. Install Brighter Lights

  • It’s a common phenomenon where old-aged people tend to have decreased vision. Which means they need more light to see an object clearly. 
  • That’s why installing brighter lights in your house can help in their movement around the house without any bumps or hits. 
  • Make sure that there shouldn’t be an area in your house without lighting.

17. Living Room should have More Space

  • Your living room is the place where your whole family gets to meet and talk to each other.
  •  Having a smaller living room can cause discomfort to seniors with wheelchairs. 
  • There should be enough space in the living room for the wheelchair to move and take a turn. 
  • You can remove unwanted objects such as old furniture or shelves to create more space.

1. Check out for PACE

  • PACE is a medical program that provides health care and health-related services to people who need to be taken care of in nursing homes. 
  • They provide financial support for people and also cover long-term costs for the needy. 
  • This is not so common and you will need to check if your seniors qualify for it or not. 
  • People with Alzheimer’s disease have a chance of getting support from this program.

2. Add it in Medical Expense

  • If the improvements were done in the house are solely done for health purposes and the value of your property doesn’t increase. 
  • Then you can add the cost of the remodeling in your medical expense for your medical insurance to look after. 
  • Keep in mind that if the remodeling done in your house increases your property’s value then you won’t get complete benefit and you can only partially add it to the medical expenses.

3. Labour Cost is Separate

  • You can take financial aid from your medical insurance for the remodeling of your house.
  • But, one thing should be known that they pay only for the equipment or the materials used for remodeling your house. 
  • The cost of the labor is your responsibility. 

4. Look for Reverse Mortgage

  • It is a type of loan which is granted to people 62 years old or above. 
  • In this, a borrower can convert his/her house equity into cash and the lender will pay you monthly instead of you paying to the lender. 
  • It doesn’t need a repayment until the borrower resides in the same house. Although, you will still be needed to pay the real state taxes and other taxes. 
  • One con of reverse mortgage is that the assets decline over time and you will have fewer assets to pass on to your children.

5. Make Use of SHA Grants

  • SHA grants basically help the veterans who have disabilities in having a home. They either help in treating the disability or grants a home to accommodate the disabled person. 
  • You can make use of these grants for remodeling your house if the veteran or any other family member of the veteran already lives in your house. 
  • You can also remodel a house that the veteran or the family member of the veteran used to buy.

6. Refinancing can be used

  • Refinancing is a method of paying dues by taking another loan. 
  • It is a common practice done by the borrower mainly to reduce the interest rates or to lower the amount which is to be paid.
  • You can take a home equity loan or a line of credit. Reverse Mortgage also is a type of refinancing.

7. Ask Local Public Housing Agencies

  • Public housing agencies have a lot of contact with non-profit organizations who help the veterans to live a comfortable life. 
  • You can ask your local public housing agency or even a bank and get in touch with one such organization. 
  • They can fund the remodeling of your house if you are unable to do it on your own.

8. Contact any Charity 

  • There are many charitable organizations that work for the good cause of looking after the seniors. 
  • You can contact any one of them and explain your situation. They are one of the best organizations to help you.

9. If you are living on rent then Contact your Landlord

  • If you are living on rent and you need to remodel some portion of the house for the comfort of your senior. 
  • Then you can try contacting the landlord of your house for help.

Final Words

Your house is the most comfortable place for you. And so you should also work to make it comfortable for your seniors as well. They are now at an age where they completely depend on your help and it’s now your responsibility to look after them.

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