Home Modification Checklist

Here’s a list to get you thinking about home modifications that can help your loved one stay safe at home longer and age in place.

Bathroom

  • Install grab bars or safety rails for support when getting in/out of tub/shower – never use towel racks or shower curtain rods instead of grab bars.
  • Apply non-slip strips on bathtub and shower floors.
  • Use bathmats and rugs with non-skid backings.
  • Use an adjustable-height shower seat rather than standing, if necessary.
  • Install an adjustable height or handheld showerhead.
  • Turn down the water temperature on the hot water heater to 120 degrees to prevent scalding.
  • Consider a raised toilet seat or grab bar to make getting up and down easier; make sure toilet paper is in easy reach.
  • Avoid locking the bathroom door when bathing to allow quicker access to you in case of a fall.

Bedroom

  • Widen or clear pathways through the bedroom – arrange furniture to create open space.
  • Make sure all electrical cords have been cleared from paths.
  • Place smoke detectors outside of bedrooms on each level of the home.
  • Keep a phone with a cord within easy reach of the bed cordless phones aren’t useable when the electricity goes out.
  • Post a list of emergency numbers near the phone; include current medications, dates prescribed and the pharmacy phone number.
  • Secure rug edges with double-sided tape or get rid of scatter rugs.
  • Make sure you can switch on a lamp before leaving bed to illuminate the path to the bathroom.
  • If you feel unstable at night or fear falling, carry a cordless phone with you as you move about.
  • If a low bed makes it difficult to get up, consider using risers to elevate the bed.

Kitchen

  • Don’t wear loose sleeves when cooking.
  • Use a timer when cooking or baking so you don’t forget that something is cooking.
  • Consider a long handled dustpan/broom combination to reduce bending.
  • If you use a rug on the floor in front of the sink, use a rubber-backed mat.
  • If you have difficulty reading stove and oven knobs, investigate large-sized controls through vision support organizations.
  • Install cupboard door handles that are easy to grasp, such as D-type handles.
  • Store frequently used items in easy-to-reach cabinets and on countertops.
  • Increase kitchen lighting over task areas such as countertops, stove and sink.
  • Have a seated workspace available.
  • Create a safe place to rest hot food immediately as you remove it from the microwave.
  • Living Room and Throughout the Home

Increase lighting at entryways

  • Leave lights on in rooms or hallways that you walk through after dark. (High efficiency bulbs and motion sensors at doorways are economical lighting solutions.)
  • Change to lever-type door handles if knobs are difficult to grasp or manipulate.
  • Install no step, no trip thresholds at doorways.
  • Install peepholes on exterior doors that are the right height for the homeowner.
  • Install handles and locks on all windows that are easy to grip at the right height.
  • Make sure all railings are sturdy and that handrails are on both sides of all stairs.
  • Secure all rug edges with double-sided tape or consider getting rid of scatter rugs.
  • If vision problems are a concern, create visual contrast on stair risers with paint or tape.
  • Make sure homeowners can see and use climate controls (thermostats, air-conditioning units.)

checklist Home modification Tips aging in place Home safety