6 Tips For Making Your Home Fit For Older Parents

Older Parents

It is a crucial endeavor to adapt one’s home to create a comfortable and safe living environment for older parents going through changes in mobility and health over time. Through the optimization of living spaces for safe, convenient, and stress-free access to all resources, you can create a warm ambiance focused on the well-being of your older parents. Here’s what you should do:

Have a ground-floor bedroom

Selecting a ground-floor room is a practical and safe choice that addresses the unique requirements of older parents. With reduced mobility, staircases are a potential hazard. A ground-floor room eliminates the risk of any stairs-related injury and makes coming and going easy. The ground-floor room also allows immediate access to the kitchen, living room, yard, and driveway.

In case of emergencies, a room on the ground floor allows for quick access and response by caregivers, rescuers, and paramedics. It is also more convenient to implement age-friendly design modifications, such as non-slip flooring and grab bars, in the rooms on the ground floor.

Make the bathroom comfortable

Safe and comfortable bathrooms ensure the well-being and independence of aging parents. You will need to incorporate specific features in the bathrooms to enhance their bathing experience while avoiding any potential hazards.

Design the bathroom with space consideration in mind to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. To prevent tripping or skidding in showers or tubs, install one of the EZ baths & walk-in tubs that do away with the need to step over a tub wall.

To further enhance comfort, provide handheld showerheads that can be used while seated. Install a raised toilet seat to minimize the effort required to sit and get up. Install grab bars in the shower and toilet area for sturdy support, physical balance, and reducing the risk of slipping and falling. To prevent accidents, get non-slip flooring material laid out on the floor. Moreover, lights with motion sensors can help in nighttime bathroom visits.

Secure staircase

Install strong handrails on both sides of the staircase at a comfortable height and check regularly for any looseness. Illuminate the staircases well to minimize the risk of tripping. Motion sensor lights or switches at both ends of the staircase can make lighting convenient at night.

Layout non-slip materials on each step for secure footing and reduced risk of slipping. If you can afford architectural adjustments, consider minimizing the number of stairs through ramps or gradual inclines. You can also get an elevator installed if the home is multi-story. Regularly check pathways around stairs to remove any obstacles or replace worn-out carpeting that can cause tripping.

Install appropriate doorways and handles

A thoughtful selection of appropriate door handles and doorways is integral to enhancing the accessibility of your aging parents around the house. Choose lever-style door handles over traditional door knobs as they are easy to grasp, push down, and pull up for people with weak hand strength and mobility.

Wider doorways, 32 inches minimum, allow for increased accessibility and smoother movement of walkers and wheelchairs. Keep the thresholds to a minimum height or flush with the floor to prevent tripping. Use transition strips to indicate elevation changes between rooms. If any of your parents have a visual impairment, incorporate contrasting colors between walls and doors for easy identification of door location.

Get safety gadgets

Get a medical alert system installed as a wearable device or home unit for emergency response. It will enable seniors to connect with caregivers or emergency services at the press of a button. These systems also come installed with fall detection, allowing for automatic assistance calls in case of a fall.

Install a smart doorbell for parents living independently to add a layer of security against intruders and allow for two-way remote interaction with visitors who can be screened before letting in. Use motion-sensitive lights to illuminate hallways, staircases, and bathrooms to mitigate the risk of hitting objects, falling, and tripping in low light. For fire safety, get stove and oven control devices to automatically turn off inactive cooking appliances after a specific time.

Ensure the flooring is smooth and non-slippery

You can choose from several home flooring options that provide aesthetics, functionality, and safety. For moisture-prone areas such as kitchens and bathrooms, consider non-slip floor materials such as cork, rubbers, and textured tiles to reduce the risk of accidents. For carpeting, use a low pile height and firm padding for minimal resistance and tripping risk. If using rugs, consider those with non-slip bottoms or get them securely fixed to avoid shifting while being trodden on. Keep the walls and floors in contract for easy differentiation, especially for visuallyimpaired seniors.

Hardwood and laminated floors are always better than slippery tiles, but avoid excessive polishing of the former as that makes them slippery. To maintain aesthetics, go for a non-slip finish instead. Repair loose tiles, planks, blocks, and carpeting regularly for sustained floor safety.

Be careful with furniture arrangement

Designate specific areas for activities such as watching TV, dining, reading, etc. This will help your parents maintain a sense of routine and order. Keep the pathways clear and obstacle-free. Place furniture against the walls, especially if your parents use walkers or wheelchairs. Ensure the furniture doesn’t obstruct light sources and cast shadows. Manage any such cases with artificial lighting.

Go for ergonomic furniture with lumbar support and round edges for comfort and safety. Choose seating with armrests to give support in independent mobility. Put coffee tables at arm’s reach from sofas and chairs to prevent stretching and bending. Regularly assess furniture for any loose limbs, discomfort, or imbalance.


Transforming a home into a comfortable residence fit for the unique and evolving needs of your older parent can be an expression of love and care for them. By adopting the measures listed in this article, you will take a comprehensive approach to home design that encompasses various safety and functionality aspects.