Many seniors want to spend as long as possible residing in the comforts of their own homes. But, getting older often comes with certain deficits that may not make current living situations the safest for seniors.

Seniors may be affected by low vision, mobility limitations, cognitive decline, balance issues, and loss of muscle strength. As a result, specific adaptations may be necessary if seniors want to stay in their homes, particularly in older homes that have not recently been renovated.

Change knobs to levers

This is an easy modification. Levers are much easier for individuals with arthritis or persons who lack dexterity in their hands. Everything from doorknobs to faucet knobs can be replaced with levers.

Create zero-threshold entryways

Zero-threshold entryways, also known as flush entries, do not require crossing a lip or any raised barrier. They can appear on doorways and showers and make it easy for people who have mobility issues, as well as those using scooters, walkers and wheelchairs, to move about unencumbered.

Clear clutter/move obstructions

One inexpensive modification is to remove extraneous furniture and accessories. Such a change widens walking spaces in a room and accommodates walkers and wheelchairs. In addition, furniture can be pushed to the room’s perimeter to make moving around easier. It’s also important to remove area rugs, as they’re often tripping hazards.

Install grab rails and supports

Minimizing falls could come down to providing support in key rooms of a home. For example, adding grab rails in the bathroom near the toilet and in the shower can help a person use those facilities without assistance. Likewise, install a grab rail close to seating in the kitchen to add support.

Consider smart lighting

Motion-activated or darkness-activated lighting switches and fixtures can automatically turn on lights, improving visibility. Also, rocker light switches are easier to maneuver than standard toggles.

Invest in a stairlift

Single-story homes are preferable for growing older gracefully, but many seniors live in multi-story homes. In addition, a stairlift makes a multi-floor home more accessible and easier to traverse staircases and reduces the risk of falls.

These suggestions are just a few home modifications that can help seniors safely age in place.