Your one-stop destination to learn about all things Real Estate

Help Seniors Live at Home Longer with these 'Age in Place' Tips

At Nestiny, we LOVE the Seniors in our lives! Most of us have benefited from their wisdom, leadership, and strong independent spirits, and we understand the importance of helping them stay in their homes as long as they wish during this time in their lives.

age in place

The term “Aging in Place” has become common these days. Seniors, and their family members, are often searching for ways to assist them in their homes, with tasks like cooking, cleaning, shopping and household chores. However, before securing outside services to help around the house, one of the first things you should consider is making sure the physical features of the property, inside and outside, are safe and secure.

If you are a Senior who wants to Age in Place in your current home, or if you have a loved one that you would like to help live in their lifelong home for years to come, here are some great ideas to help create an environment that is safe and comfortable.

How to set up your home to Age in Place


  • Place non-skid tape on exterior stair treads. If the home has stairs, placing non-skid tape on exterior stair treads can go a long way toward reducing the chances of a slip and fall accident, throughout all seasons of the year.
  • Widen the exterior stairs, and doorway, if necessary. Some Seniors require a walker or wheelchair to maintain mobility, and a wide doorway is a must.
  • Install a ramp in place of, or adjacent to, existing stairs. This is most likely a job for a contractor. Do research to find a company that has worked with Seniors in the past.
  • age in place
  • Make sure there is a handrail that is the proper height and securely fixed to the stairs or ramp.
  • Install a threshold ramp. A threshold ramp will greatly reduce the stress and strain of navigating height variations of doorways. Some threshold ramps are even portable and can be taken along if a Senior is visiting another home without one. Other versions are more permanent and require installation.


The kitchen is one of the prime areas in a home to check for necessary safety modifications. Many Seniors require occasional meals to be prepared and delivered to their homes, but whether the kitchen is being used for cooking, or simply eating, the kitchen is the heart of the home and its safety features should be given careful consideration.

age in place
  • Remove area rugs in the kitchen to reduce the possibility of falling. If a comfort mat is needed in front of a sink or stove, make sure it has a skid-proof backing and is not overly thick. Try to draw a balance between comfort and safety in this case.
  • Non-skid flooring options. If the current floor is slick, it might be a good idea to replace it with another option that will give bare feet, or slippers, more traction. Consult a professional for appropriate flooring choices for Seniors.
  • Lower countertops and the sink. Doing this will assist in food preparation and cleaning. The goal is to help provide comfort and decrease accidents by retro-fitting the height to accommodate the individual who will be using the space.
  • Store frequently used items in lower cabinets, shelves and drawers. No Senior should be forced to climb on a step stool, or chair, to reach an item that they need for cooking or cleaning in the kitchen. Make sure to help them separate the most used items from the seldom-used items and store them accordingly. Let your loved one know that if they need something on a high shelf or cabinet, they should ask for help!
  • Store the microwave on the countertop or a cart so there is no need to reach overhead. This will reduce straining and possible burns from hot food. If there is a microwave installed over a stove, it may be best to have a contractor help you remove it, and replace it with a portable microwave that can be kept on a cart or countertop.


  • Safety bars are key. One of the most important modifications to a Senior’s home is installing safety bars in showers and near bathtubs in order to increase stability and reduce the possibility of a fall. Make sure to hire a contractor who is experienced in working with Seniors who can help guide you through the proper installation and placement of these important safety features.
age in place
  • Purchase safety stickers for bathtubs and showers. If a walk-in tub is not an option due to space or cost concerns, placing stick-on grip strips in a tub or shower is a good option to help reduce the chance of a fall.
  • Provide a place to sit and rest. If space permits, install a sink in a countertop with space for a wheelchair or bench underneath for Seniors who have difficulty standing for long periods of time. If this is not an option, placing a seat, or sturdy bench, in the bathroom will allow Seniors to take a rest while in the bathroom.
  • Remove slippery bathmats. One simple, and very important, step in helping a Senior stay safe in their bathroom is to remove bathmats, or rugs, that could be a slip hazard. Make sure to supply thin, rubber-backed rugs or bathmats to make sure they stay in place. The rubber backing should be checked periodically since it can wear off over time.

Living Areas

  • Provide enough space between furniture. In a Senior’s living room, or family room, one simple step can help make their home much more comfortable. Make sure to place the furniture far enough apart to accommodate a walker or wheelchair so that they can easily move from room to room without having to navigate between immovable couches or chairs.
  • Remove thick carpeting, or rugs. If a wheelchair, or walker, is used in a home, it would be helpful to remove thick carpeting, or rugs, to make it easier and safer to move about.
  • Provide a place to stand, or sit, and look outside. Find out where the Senior’s favorite view outside is, and make sure there is no furniture in front of that window. Everyone enjoys a good view, so make sure there is a place to sit in a wheelchair, or a comfortable chair, with a view.
age in place
  • Keep the center of the room clear. If a coffee table is located in the center of the room, replace it with end tables placed beside chairs or a couch. This will provide an open space for navigating to the front door, and also the other rooms in the home.
  • Purchase a chair with a lift. If your favorite Senior, is finding it difficult to get in and out of their easy chair, it is a good idea to purchase a chair with a lift that can help. There is nothing like relaxing in your favorite chair. Let’s help our loved ones do that with ease!


age in place
  • Purchase a bed with electronic controls to raise and lower the head and foot. At the end of a long day, or if they aren’t feeling well, this will be a welcome feature in the bedroom of any Senior.
  • Install an emergency alert device, or alarm, near the bed. If your loved one is having a medical event, they won’t have to struggle to find a phone, or even make a phone call, if a medical alert device is within their reach.
  • Make sure to place a touch lamp on the bedside table. If you aren’t able to locate a touch lamp, make sure the power switch on the lamp is easy to locate in the dark.
  • Place a night light in the bedroom or hallway. It is not uncommon for a Senior to need to use the restroom in the middle of the night. Make sure the path is well lit to reduce the likelihood of a fall.

Some Seniors choose to move to a retirement community or even a 55+ community. For more about this, check out How to Retire Into the Lifestyle You've Dreamed Of. However, if Aging in Place in your current home is your goal, we hope these tips will help you live happily in your cherished home for years to come!

You might like :

Ready To Become A Smarter Homebuyer?