Designing a House for the Elderly to Live Comfortably

As we get older, our parents start to get older also. It’s hard to fathom, but eventually our parents will get to where every day around-the-house actions become difficult. Arthritis, limited mobility, declining eyesight and more can start to make life difficult. Many elderly people spend most of their time inside their homes. Therefore, those small around-the-house actions are what they do almost all day long. Nobody wants their parent’s golden years to be more difficult than what it has to be. However, designing a house for the elderly from the ground up is something that most of us cannot afford. Luckily, there are many ways of designing homes from the inside out to adapt an existing home for elderly the elderly residence.

Tips on Designing a house for the elderly

Door handles

One small part of designing a house for the elderly that may seem trivial, but can mean a lot for someone with arthritis, is changing the door handles. Turning a door handle for most of us takes little effort. But those who are suffering from arthritis have trouble moving their hands like that. Changing all of the door handles to lever style handles will relieve a lot of hand pain. This small step in designing a house for the elderly is easy and inexpensive. It makes aging in place that much easier.


Another way of designing a house for older generations is to add more lighting. You’ve probably noticed that as you get older your eyesight has diminished. Maybe you used to be able to read in a dimly lit room but now you need better lighting. Your elderly parents are probably experiencing this phenomenon more intensely than you. Adding lamps and overhead lighting will help keep your loved one(s) from bumping into coffee tables and other objects in the darkly lit rooms. Make sure that the power to the various forms of lighting are easy to access. Having a lighting switch close to each room’s entry is essential.


An additional small step to designing a house for seniors is to install handrails for any and all stairs. Slipping on a set of stair is easy to do once your footing begins to become unsure. (The stairs are also an important place to add more lighting.) The added aid of stair rails is one way of designing a house for the elderly that will make an older person safer.


Designing a house for senior citizens with easier to use door handles, better lighting, and safer stair ways is important. However, one of the most important elements of designing a house for the elderly is to remodel the restroom. A bath or shower with hand rails and with a door to eliminate the need to step over the side of the tub is critical. Adding a hand rail next to the toilet and other places is also helpful.

These small ways of designing a house for the elderly are helpful tips. There are a number of ways that designing a house for the elderly can be done. The National Association of Home Builders has a great aging-in-place remodeling checklist which goes into more detail.

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