Modifications for a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Key Points

  • As they head into retirement, many seniors opt to stay in their homes with the goal of aging in their own place.

  • Aging in place modifications can create the ideal living environment for retirees.

  • The right safe home adjustments for seniors reduces the risk of accidents and increases the level of comfort.

Home is where the heart is. For the millions of Americans who have retired home is also where they plan to age in place.

Around 10,000 Americans turn 65 every single day. Not everyone will retire to a villa in sunny Florida. For many, staying put in the home they've lived in for years is the ideal retirement location.

However, as we grow older, our needs for safety and comfort in the home change. The following aging in place modifications creates the right kind of living environment for a safe and happy retirement.

Grab Bars and Handrails

You visit the bathroom several times a day, and every trip should be a cautious one. Unfortunately, bathrooms can be ground zero for slippery steps and accidental falls.

One fall in the bathroom can be a devastating setback to retirement. Grab bars and handrails are the kind of senior safety solutions that may prevent those falls from happening.

Moen and Drive Medical provide a line of grab bars and handrails that provide additional support in the shower and around the toilet. Add these handrails to small staircases without railings as part of your senior friendly home upgrades plan.

When installed properly, grab bars can support up to 250 pounds. That's one of the elderly home safety modifications that help when things get slippery in the bathroom!

Senior couple at home

Adjustable Beds

At one time, the only place you could enjoy an adjustable bed was in the hospital. Today, adjustable beds are available as popular elderly home improvements, and they are having a positive impact on many retirees.

Consider these benefits of an adjustable bed:

  • Reduces back pain

  • Cuts back on snoring

  • Lessens acid reflux

  • Reduces insomnia

Along with those health benefits, an adjustable bed also promotes a stronger sense of independence.

An adjustable bed is the kind of home safety product for seniors that helps with getting in and out of bed without assistance. That, in turn, might make you feel more confident and comfortable in your own bedroom.

Adjustable bed makers like Sleep Number and Leggett & Platt offer remote-controlled beds with massage features. That puts them at the top of the list of elderly home improvements that are also a wise investment for a comfortable retirement.

Leggett & Platt adjustable bed

Photo source:


What happens when stairs become a safety concern in the home? You don't need to move to a new house or bring your bedroom downstairs. Instead, consider installing a stairlift.

A stairlift is among the senior friendly home upgrades that come from companies like Bruno, Acorn, and Universal Lifts. They offer various stairlift options that you can adapt to any set of stairs.

The manufacturers may also recommend installers for stairlifts. Again, this is the type of elderly home safety modification that a professional should only handle.

These stairlifts allow the user to transition from one floor to the next easily. There should be no fear of falling when you ride on a stairlift.

Stairlifts are the exact type of senior home safety equipment that provides peace of mind for the whole family.

Universal Lift stairlift

Photo source:

Non-Slip Flooring

Did you know that falling once in your home doubles your chances of falling again? According to the CDC, one out of four older adults takes a fall in their home each year.

It isn't just the bathroom where those falls occur. They happen in any room in the house.

The kind of non-slip flooring options offered by brands like Armstrong and Mohawk are a home safety for elderly addition that can help reduce the risk of falls.

Some of the options for non-slip flooring include:

  • Vinyl

  • Natural stone

  • Bamboo

  • Cork

  • Linoleum

  • Rubber

Each of those options comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Unfortunately, it would also mean replacing the existing flooring in your home. However, the cost of installing new flooring as an elderly home safety modification in your home may be more affordable than the medical bills from a fall!

Walk-In Tubs

How does a soak in a warm bath with pulsating jets sound? It's one of the perfect senior-friendly home upgrades to make your aging-in-place living environment more comfortable.

A walk-in tub is also a safe addition to the home. It provides easy access to the bathtub without stepping over a high ledge.

The types of walk-in tubs offered by Safe Step or American Standard are placed where your current tub resides. There's no need to knock down walls or reroute the plumbing to add this type of senior home safety equipment.

Unlike your current tub, your new walk-in tub features a sit-down bench for a more relaxing bathing experience. And speaking of relaxing, you may also have a tub with those massage water jets.

With a touch of a button, those massage water jets can help improve your circulation and reduce inflammation from arthritis. It is also a great way to relax. Translation: you'll enjoy taking a bath again!

American Standard walk-in tub

Photo source:

Lever-Handled Faucets

Many safe home gadgets for elderly retirees provide added comfort with daily activities. These gadgets include everything from velcro shoes to heated weighted blankets.

Lever-handled faucets are another senior-friendly home upgrade to add to that list of safe home gadgets for elderly retirees.

Something as simple as turning on a kitchen faucet can be frustrating when you have diminished hand dexterity. Lever-handled faucets from manufacturers like Delta and Kohler solve that issue.

It takes a simple "nudge" to turn these faucets on and off. These faucets also look great in any bathroom or kitchen. That makes this one of the many seniors' home safety products that won't compromise comfort for your decorating style.

Delta lever-handled faucet

Photo source:

Wheelchair Ramps

At first, it might seem that being prescribed a wheelchair will restrict your lifestyle. However, it might be quite the opposite. Many wheelchair users have found ways to live their very best lives and inspire others.

"Finding sports and finding custom wheelchairs was really a game changer," Danny Fik, an offensive lineman in the USA Wheelchair Football League said. "Immediately, my perspective on my situation changed. Everything I had was not important to me. It was what I had now. You got to look at the glass half full as opposed to half empty."

You might not join a football league like Fik, but you might create greater wheelchair access with a Prairie View or EZ-ACCESS wheelchair ramp.

Use the ramps to load a wheelchair or scooter into the back of an SUV or van. These ramps are the kind of home safety products for seniors that provide more transportation options.

Aging in place doesn't have to mean being stuck at home!

Prairie View or EZ-ACCESS wheelchair rampPhoto source:

Additional Home Safety Solutions for Seniors

Additional elderly home safety modifications solutions for seniors should be added to the aging-in-place plans.

In addition to non-slip flooring, any rug or doormat should be of the non-slip variety. Keep electric cords along the base of the wall to prevent accidental tripping.

Home safety for elderly people should also include lowering the water heater temperature to prevent scalding. In addition, there should be smoke detectors in every room, not just the kitchen and bedroom.

A carbon monoxide detector is also critical to home safety for elderly people.

GoldYears is chock full of even more helpful home safety tips for seniors, such as making safe home adjustments for seniors that create a comfortable living environment. Subscribe today and be well!

Was this article helpful?