Most seniors would prefer to age in place, but health and aging issues can prevent full access to the house. Raised thresholds and bathrooms represent fall risks, doorknobs become difficult to turn, and stairs are hard to climb. Seniors may feel trapped in certain areas of their homes, forcing them to consider moving when they don't want to do so.
Accessibility and safety can also become issues when an aging parent moves in with an adult child, prompting a need for home renovations. It can be difficult for a homeowner to determine what changes are needed and how they should be made.
In these situations, your SRES® may be able to refer you to an aging-in-place specialist who can evaluate your home, find problem areas, and suggest home modifications. Certified aging-in-place specialists have been trained in:
- The unique needs of the older adult population
- Aging-in-place home modifications
- Common remodeling projects
- Solutions to common barriers
The answer may be as easy as adding grab bars in bath areas, flattening thresholds, and installing brighter lighting and higher toilets. In other cases, significant remodeling may be required to overcome the challenges of two-story living. An aging-in-place specialist can advise on which changes will be most beneficial and suggest cost-effective approaches.