How to Tackle Home Accessibility Modifications for Seniors

How to Tackle Home Accessibility Modifications for Seniors

 

Guest Writer Paul Denikin paul@dadknowsdiy.com

 

As adults grow older, their physical health begins to decline, which makes it more difficult to get around or perform certain tasks. The best way to transition a senior into this phase of life is to make the proper modifications around their home to make it safer and more convenient. Here are a few home improvement tips to make getting around easier for the senior in your life!

 

DIY vs. hiring a contractor

 

Before you begin making any modifications, it’s best to discern which projects you can take on yourself, and which ones may require the skill of a professional. A general rule of thumb is that any modifications involving electrical or plumbing work should be done by a professional for safety reasons and to avoid costly mistakes. Feel free to get recommendations for contractors from friends and other relatives who may have had similar work done in their homes.

 

To find the best contractor, interview at least 3 different people and get written quotes from each person. Be sure that each quote includes exactly what you want done and which tools and supplies will be needed to complete the job. Discuss any negotiations prior to signing the contract and be sure to work closely with whomever you hire on behalf of your loved one to avoid any mishaps and miscommunications.

 

Some modifications that need to be done are minor and doing them yourself or with the help of a friend can save time and money. Modifications vary based on the needs of your loved one, so assess what changes are necessary and make sure you are equipped with the proper supplies before getting started. If your senior has limited mobility, some modifications that need to be made would be widening doorways and entrances to make it easier to move from room to room. You may also need to lower countertops in the kitchen, install grab bars in the bathroom and install a built-in seat in the shower.

 

Benefits of aging in place

 

While some may think it’s easier to just place their loved one’s in an assisted living facility rather than taking on any home modification projects, there are some benefits of aging in place. Aging in place is defined as the ability to live in one’s own home safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age, income or ability level. Recognition and familiarity play a huge part in the aging process of older adults. Their homes are where they feel safe and secure. Taking them out of their element may be met with extreme resistance and it may also have a poor impact on their overall health and wellbeing. Freedom and the ability to be self-sufficient are a critical part in maintaining mental and emotional health in seniors. Aging in place helps them to hold onto their independence, so making a few modifications to your senior loved one’s home is the best way to keep them happy and healthy. Not to mention, the costs of nursing homes and other facilities pale in comparison to the one-time expense of home modifications. So in addition to preserving your loved one’s mental and physical health, you will also be saving them money in the long run!

 

Making a few accessibility modifications for the senior in your life will allow them to continue the lifestyle they choose with the safety they need and the independence they love to have! Whether you decide to take on the projects on your own or hire a contractor, you can rest assured knowing that your loved one will have everything they need to live comfortably!