17 Mar Home Modifications for Seniors in Philadelphia on Any Budget
Consider this do-it-yourself checklist that evaluations and offers home modifications. It can keep senior and elder loved ones safe in their home. There are plenty of potential hazards in a home. These can make an older adult’s life more challenging and put them at a higher risk of injury. Home modifications can help create a safer and more accessible home environment As an added bonus, you won’t always need to break the bank.
Consider the payoff
Even for home modifications that do lead to significant cost, they may pay off in other ways. For example, an effective home modification or modifications may allow seniors to live in their homes longer. It could prevent or delay, for example, the need for a senior to move into an assisted living or senior housing facility over a period of time.
It may also reduce the need and hours for some caregiving services. This includes through home care agencies like Chosen Family Home Care or through caregiving provided by a loved one. Finally, families may determine that the safety and peace of mind of a home modification is worth the investment of time and money.
What are home modifications?
Home modifications include home improvement and home repair. They are additions or adjustments done inside the home. Home modifications can work to keep a senior or disabled person with limited mobility safe in their movement around the home. They also aid in keeping the home accessible. Home modifications aren’t just about safety. They directly impact convenience and comfort in home as well.
These adjustments can be a part of any budget, from several dollars to thousands of dollars in major renovations. Luckily, much can be done for seniors and elders at home at low cost. Improvements can be made independently or through a contractor. Regardless of the method, elders will be better equipped to age in place.
Understanding the best home modifications
Talk to your elder loved ones about what their concerns are. Watch as they perform activities and see what their challenges are. This could be important as some elders may hesitate to share what their obstacles may be. Learn from that when implementing a home modifications priority guide. Home modifications are great as they support independent living at home while helping make the environment safer and accessible.
DIY Home Modification Checklist On a Budget
Throughout the Home
- Install lever or pull handles instead of door knobs
- Add lighting and glow strips along floor and next to important switches
- Rearrange furniture to create a clear pathway without clutter
Main Living Spaces
- Add lamps behind and around furniture
- Consider removing curtains and replace with blinds to allow natural light
- Cling cords and wires to walls to keep them out of the way
- Add light switches and lighting if hallways are dark (nightlights are a great choice)
- Install low height rails and railings for support along the walls
- Remove or replace loose rugs or place anti-slip mats under rugs
- Move heavy and regularly used items in more accessible, easy-to-reach places
- Add lighting in kitchens, including under cabinets or glow strips around cabinets
- Pick a table to use for prep space as opposed to tall countertops
- Use grab bars in and around the shower and toilet
- Add accessible shelving for storage that’s waist high
- Put non-slip pads on tub floors and other surfaces that often get wet
- Reduce your water heater temperature to a more comfortable and safe temperature
- Ensure sufficient and easy-to-use lights on both sides of the bed
- Consider installing a bed rail for support getting into and out of bed
- Add padding to headboards or bed sides if they have sharp or hard edges
- Swap out shelves for heavy drawers and high bars in closets
Other Changes for Added Safety and Convenience
- Use smaller, wheeled laundry baskets
- Put regularly used items like remotes in easy to access places
- Connect lights to one switch to illuminate spaces more easily
- Make lights wireless and hands-free via smart lighting and voice-enabled services
- Make towels and rags accessible
- Ensure regular maintenance and cleaning
- Use a weekly pill box and centralize their location
- Relocate living space on one floor whenever possible to reduce stair use
- Consider our home safety tips article for more insights
More Intensive Renovation Options
Some modifications typically require the skills of a contractor or construction company. With added scope and labor comes added cost. A certified contractor can make renovations like these if needed:
- Widen doorways for wheelchair/increased accessibility
- Install a wheelchair ramp
- Add an electronic stair lift
- Install a walk-in tub or shower
- Lower countertops
- Move light switches down within reach of a wheelchair
Paying for home modifications
If you don’t have the budget for some of these renovations. In Pennsylvania, the Medicaid waiver program will pay for qualifying individuals that need home modifications through Community HealthChoices. Understand the waiver program including eligibility and qualifications through our post here.
The role of home care
A supportive home care agency and its caregivers like Chosen Family will monitor your loved one and determine what areas of opportunity there might be in adding home modifications. Chosen Family can assess the entirety of the home through its free home safety checklist and review.
They also offer recommendations on specific actions to improve the life of your loved one at home both through home modifications and by incorporating other resources. The best part is, an effective home modifications plan may also reduce the needs of formal home care or even the time requirement of unpaid family caregivers. This will save families money in the long run while facilitating the elder’s ability to age in place.