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Home Modification

Making your home welcome

Home modifications are changes made to adapt living spaces to meet the needs of people with physical limitations so that they can continue to live independently and safely. These home modifications may include adding assistive technology or making structural changes to a home. Modifications can range from something as simple as replacing cabinet doorknobs with pull handles to full-scale construction projects that require installing wheelchair ramps and widening doorways.

Other examples of home modifications include:

  • Grab bars in the bathroom (including by the bathtub, shower, and toilet)
  • Hand held, flexible shower heads
  • Handrails on both sides of staircases and for outside steps
  • Lever-operated faucets that are easy to turn on and off
  • Sliding or revolving shelves for cabinets in the kitchen
  • Walk-in showers

Why do seniors need home modification?

The main benefit of making home modifications is that they promote independence and prevent accidents. According to a recent AARP housing survey, “83% of older Americans want to stay in their current homes for the rest of their lives,” but other studies show that most homes are not designed to accommodate the needs of people over age 65.

Most older people live in homes that are more than 20 years old. As these buildings get older along with their residents, they may become harder to live in or maintain. A house that was perfectly suitable for a senior at age 55, for example, may have too many stairs or slippery surfaces for a person who is 70 or 80. Research by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that home modifications and repairs may prevent 30% to 50% of all home accidents among seniors, including falls that take place in these older homes.

*Information courtesy of: Concerning Aging is powered by MODx CMS Copyright 2007-2008 Miller Manor Publishing.

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