Ten Ways to Improve Your Retirement Home

From on March 20, 2009 in General Remodel


A wave of baby boomers in their late 50’s and early 60’s are now on the precipice of entering their golden years. A great number of them have already taken steps towards making their home retirement friendly.

It’s a trend known as universal design. This movement promotes the idea of transforming your home into a more accessible and easier place to live, for aging adults in particular.

Here are 10 ways to get a head start on aging-in-place living.

  1. Installing retractable safety bars on both side of the toilet will make the bathroom safer. Installing grab bars and laying down a non-skid surface in the shower will prevent accidents.
  2. Remodeling the kitchen countertops to wheelchair height will provide greater access. Countertops at 32 inches from the ground are a more ideal height for elderly and disabled.
  3. Leveling the floors will make your home safer. Not only are you preventing accidental falls, it firms up the structural integrity of your home. Pressurized wood beams are cemented in place below the floor. This process eliminates trip hazards.
  4. Replace door knobs with levers; they’re much easier on arthritic hands.
  5. Use a steam cooker. It preserves more nutrients in the food, providing a healthier diet.
  6. Invest in a computerized thermostat. The computer-controlled device can be operated on the road, from a wheelchair or in bed.
  7. Make sure door spaces are 3 feet wide and retrofit beds to accommodate for wheelchair height.
  8. Consider front loading washers and dryers or specialized self running vacuums.
  9. A big ticket item such a steam room is great for dealing with common colds.
  10. Provide a step-free entrance to the house, for wheelchair access.

For other great ideas on this topic:

Making the Home Safe for Aging
User-Friendly Design
Talk to a certified remodeling contractor!