South Florida is one of the premier vacation destinations for snowbirds, and many elderly Americans choose Florida as their location to retire and grow old in. Living alone can be increasingly challenging as we age, however – often due to physical obstacles. While some decide to move into an assisted living facility to receive assistance in daily activities and outings, a successful redesign or remodel can allow seniors who aim to age at home a safe and secure area that is better suited to their needs. Those who want to learn more about retrofitting their home for a senior citizen to live more comfortably should keep reading, as today we will discuss home features and designs to create a better-equipped home for older people.

accessible kitchen redesign

Bathroom Redesign and Useful Features

Up to 80 percent of slips and falls that seniors injure themselves with occur in the bathroom. The combination of slippery floors and awkward poses and movements from showering and bathing can lead to severe injuries. Bathrooms are used daily, yet many traditional features are difficult for seniors. With these few modifications, you can help make the bathroom more suitable for seniors.

  • Add non-slip flooring. You can change the tiling to a non-slip material, such as vinyl, and include non-slip strips to the floor of the shower and bath.
  • Installing additional bars and handrails onto the shower and bath walls can also provide extra ways for seniors to keep their balance.
  • Change the height of your toilet and countertop. Reducing the distance a senior has to bend down can stop many falls before they happen. Taller toilets make it easier for elderly Americans to stand up unassisted.

House Common Area Design Features

Many areas of the home are more challenging for elderly Americans to navigate, even if these challenges do not immediately cross your mind. Narrow hallways are some of the most difficult areas of a home to navigate through for seniors with mobility assistance such as a walker, cane, or wheelchair. All doors should be widened, as wide hallways are useless if they lead to narrow doorways. When designing a home that is easy to age in, think about the small hurdles that can add up daily to create annoyances and complications. Bumps in doorways from misaligned tiles can be enough to limit mobility from one room to another.

Steps are also something that should be avoided as much as possible. Florida homes are much less likely to have stairs compared to Northern states, but they still exist. Steps can be challenging for seniors to handle, regardless of whether or not they use a wheelchair. Home entryways should always be stair-free. Install a ramp instead to aid with easier ascents. Ramps allow users to move at their own pace, make grocery-carrying easier, and make it less likely that a slip will occur.

Kitchen Redesign and Features

Tall countertops should be avoided in the bathroom, but this general advice also applies to the kitchen. Tall cabinets, counters, and tables are best lowered to ensure they are easily reached and do not result in falls. Reducing the height of counters and cabinets by three inches allows wheelchair users and seniors to continue participating in kitchen activities with fewer limitations. It’s also wise to have the corners of all counters and tables rounded so that a bump or scrape does not harm seniors.

West Coast Design Build Florida offers professional design and installation services to Sarasota area homeowners. We specialize in kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor living spaces. Call us today to set up a consultation to learn more about renovating your home for a loved one aging at home.