5 Simple Renovations to Make Your Home Senior-Friendly

5 Simple Renovations to Make Your Home Senior-Friendly

When caring for their homes becomes too difficult, many older adults will move in with their children or to assisted living facilities. If you are planning to have a senior parent or grandparent move in with you, you will need to take steps to ensure his or her well-being. In some cases, you may need to do major renovations such as widening hallways or converting a bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair. However, a number of smaller repairs will make your home more safe, secure, and senior-friendly. Consider these five simple, yet important, home improvement projects:

Hardwood flooring.

Replacing carpet with hardwood flooring can help make the home a safer place for seniors with mobility issues.

1. Install grab bars in the bathtub/shower.

Stepping in and out of the shower or tub can be difficult for older adults. Install grab bars to provide seniors with extra stability on slippery surfaces. If you choose to install a permanent grab bar, you’ll need to locate studs behind the shower wall so that the bar can be tightly secured with screws. Your other option is to install suction grab bars, which are portable. Suction grab bars can be quickly and easily mounted on the shower wall with no drilling required.

2. Replace carpet with hardwood flooring.

It is especially hard for elderly folks to walk on carpet, even if they use a cane or walker. As they shuffle, they can experience resistance between their shoes and the textured surface. This, coupled with balance issues, can increase their risk of falling. Replace wall-to-wall carpet or area rugs with hardwood, vinyl, or laminate flooring. This will make getting around easier for your senior family member. In addition, consider eliminating small decorative rugs, as they can also be a falling hazard. At the very least, place gripper pads under all scatter rugs to reduce the risk of injury.

3. Cover sharp edges of furniture with corner cushions.

In addition to developing some trouble with balance, older adults are more prone to bruising. If they are unsteady on their feet, they are more apt to bump into furniture. Adding cushions to sharp corners on tables, counters, cabinets, and vanities will reduce the risk of more serious injury. You can purchase these corner cushions at your local hardware store or home improvement warehouse.

4. Install easy-to-turn lever-style door handles.

For older adults with arthritis in their hands and fingers, simple tasks can be painful. For example, it may become increasingly difficult for them to twist a traditional doorknob. You can help minimize their frustration by replacing any twist doorknobs in your home with lever-style door handles. Lever handles make it easier and less painful for seniors to open and close doors. Rather than hire a locksmith to change out your door handles, you can do it yourself and save a little money. Lever-style door handles come in a variety of finishes, including brass, antique brass, and nickel.

5. Erect security signs to protect against intruders.

Sometimes you will need to leave your elderly parent at home alone. Protect your loved one from becoming the victim of a crime by installing security devices around your property. Whether it’s a camera system, window sensors, or motion-sensitive lights, many security devices can be self-installed, saving money on possibly expensive servicing. You can also prominently display a number of security signs and warning decals to signal to potential burglars the presence of a surveillance system. Security signs can, at the very most, thwart a burglary and, at the very least, bring you peace of mind in knowing your loved one is safe.


  1. one
    Comment by Britney@carpet cleaners Santa Monica: Jul 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    hi, luv your post. I’d like to share on “Replacing Carpet with Hardwood Floors.” If the floor has been prepped by removing the carpet, the pad, the nail strips, staples and any other debris or garbage, it’s a good idea to sweep and vacuum the subfloor clean. After it’s been cleaned, it’s time to lay down the rosin paper. There are a couple different types of hardwood underlayment paper that you can use, but I like the regular red rosin paper because it’s cheap AND I had some left over from our first home. Thanks:)

  2. two
    Comment by Peter@water damage Austin TX: Aug 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    I think this post is one of my favorites in your blog. I’ve found great ideas in here, like th grab bar. You are right that it is quite hard to step out of the bathtub when you are not holding any to keep your balance. Thanks for this great post.

  3. three
    Comment by Fred@shower screens: Sep 3, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Yes you have reason, it’s very important to insure his house against accidents.
    Thanks you to give different technic : grab bars in the bathtub or the hardwood flooring are good example.

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