Home Design for Senior Safety

Tim Watt  |  August 23, 2011

Woman helping older family memberWhether updating a senior's home for extra safety or remodeling the family home to allow an elderly loved one to move in, there are elements of design to keep in mind.

AARP reports that Universal Design is a good building strategy when designing living spaces for seniors because it includes senior-friendly aspects such as single-floor living, easy access to commonly-used items and tripping safety.

Universal Design incorporates features such as a no-step-entry and wide doorways and hallways to allow unsteady seniors and those in wheelchairs to easily move around the house. In homes using this technique, all switches and thermostats are lower on the wall while electrical outlets are higher. In addition, safety features such as non-slip floors, bathtubs and showers are installed. 

According to The Money Pit, caregivers should look for tripping hazards and ensure that a home has stable furniture, electrical safety, healthy heat and that the house itself is easy to enter and exit. While many seniors prefer to age at home, others may be safer and more comfortable in an assisted living community. Family members should discuss this decision with the senior.

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