As we age, our homes—often our most cherished spaces—need to evolve with us to meet changing mobility and accessibility requirements.
In this blog, the seasoned home renovators at Triforce Construction help you explore valuable ways to transform your home into a safe, comfortable, and accessible haven that supports aging in place.
We’ll explain practical and innovative ways to modify your living space, ensuring it remains a place of memories and a functional and welcoming environment for your golden years.
From simple tweaks to significant renovations, we’ll cover a range of solutions tailored to enhance your quality of life while maintaining the warmth and character of your home.
Why Retrofit Your Home for Accessibility?
Retrofitting your home for accessibility as you age is a proactive step towards ensuring a safe, comfortable, and independent lifestyle in your familiar environment. As we grow older, our mobility and physical capabilities often change, making features like stairs, narrow doorways, or high cabinets challenging and sometimes hazardous.
By adapting your home, you can address these challenges, reduce the risk of falls and injuries, and enhance your ability to perform daily tasks effortlessly. This might include installing ramps, grab bars, and stairlifts or modifying bathrooms and kitchens for easier access.
An accessible home allows for aging in place, which is often more desirable and cost-effective than the upheaval and expense of moving to assisted living facilities.
Retrofitting also increases your home’s value and appeal, ensuring it’s welcoming and functional for people of all ages and abilities.
Assessing Your Home’s Accessibility: A Checklist
We’ve compiled the following checklist to help you assess your home’s current accessibility and identify areas for improvement:
Entrances and exits:
- Are entryways and exits well-lit and free of obstacles?
- Is there at least one step-free way to access your home?
- Are doorways wide enough for a wheelchair or walker (at least 32 inches)?
- Are there secure railings on each step?
- Are staircases equipped with sturdy handrails on both sides?
- Are the steps in good condition, with a non-slip surface?
- Are accessibility-enhancing devices required?
- Are grab bars required for safer toilet, shower, and tub access?
- Is there a walk-in shower, bath, or bath seat available?
- Are your toilet seats and sinks at an accessible height?
- Is there non-slip flooring and a bathmat?
- Are cabinets and shelves accessible without needing to stretch or bend excessively?
- Is there space under the sink for a wheelchair user?
- Are appliances at a convenient height and easy to use?
- Is there sufficient space to move around with a walker or wheelchair?
- Are light switches, thermostats, and other controls easily accessible?
- Is it easy to get out of your bed?
- Are closets and storage spaces easy to use?
Key Renovations for an Age-Friendly Home
The best renovations to undertake for an age-friendly home are those that are personalized to your goals. When you’re unsure which accessibility features you might need as you age, the above checklist is a great place to start.
Below, you’ll find more information about the home improvements we recommend to make aging in place possible for you and your loved ones.
Tips for Creating an ADA-Compliant Bathroom
Several specific services and modifications are often required to ensure your space is accessible and safe for individuals with disabilities.
Some of the most common ADA-compliant bathroom renovation services include:
- Installation of grab bars, along with wall reinforcements to support the use of these safety devices
- Walk-in and roll-in shower conversions
- Handheld shower heads
- Shower seat installations
- Heigh-adjustable sink installation
- Non-slip flooring installation
- Floor space clearance (for a wheelchair or walker to turn around)
- …and more!
Whether due to age, injury, or disability, it can be difficult for some to enter and exit traditional tub models. That’s where installing an accessible bathtub is a wise investment. These easy-to-enter and exit spaces make staying clean much more accessible for those with mobility issues.
ADA Roll-In Showers
An ADA-compliant roll-in shower is designed to be accessible to wheelchair users. Generally, it features a flat, non-slip surface without any threshold. This allows individuals to enter and exit the shower safely and independently. The design also includes a spacious entry and ample room within the shower to maneuver a wheelchair comfortably.
ADA-Compliant Kitchen Design
An ADA-compliant kitchen redesign is a strategic way to create a safe and accessible space that accommodates aging in place, ensuring the kitchen remains functional, comfortable, and secure as mobility and physical needs evolve.
By incorporating ADA standards, the redesign creates ample maneuvering space for wheelchairs and walkers, with lowered countertops and accessible sink areas for easy reach and use.
Crucially, an ADA kitchen redesign considers the placement of appliances and workspaces to create a logical, safe flow that reduces the physical effort required for kitchen tasks.
Accessible Kitchen Cabinets, Sinks, Appliances, and Countertops
Adjustable-height work surfaces and pull-out or pull-down shelving units make storage and food preparation more ergonomic. Lever-handled faucets and easy-to-use appliances reduce the need for grip strength, aiding those with limited dexterity.
Navigating Stairs: Renovation Solutions for Mobility Challenges
When mobility challenges make it difficult to navigate stairs, the following renovation solutions can help you maintain your independence and maneuverability within your home:
- Platform lifts
- Home elevators
- Improved handrails
- Non-slip stair treads
- Chair glides
- …and more!
Home Renovation for Outdoor Accessibility: Ramps, Rails, and Paths
If you don’t want to give up outside time as you age, you can invest in home renovation solutions that make outdoor accessibility possible.
- Installing outdoor ramps
- Adding handrails
- Creating accessible paths
- Leveling uneven ground
- Installing automatic door openers
- Implementing non-slip outdoor surfaces
- …and much more!
Accessible Home Improvements Help You Age in Place and Stay at Home for Longer
Accessible home improvements are investments in your quality of life and independence as you age. By adapting your living space to meet your changing mobility capabilities, you enhance safety and comfort and embrace the possibility of aging in place with dignity and autonomy.
Would you like more information about the home renovations you can make to ensure your residence is safe and suitable for you and your loved ones now and well into your golden years? Dial (226) 898-2682 to speak to Triforce Construction’s licensed home renovators.