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Here’s what you need for aging in place, according to industry experts

shower chair and mini ramp

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When equipped with the proper tools, aging in place can feel like a luxury. For some, independence can feel like it’s slipping away as the body ages. But with subtle upgrades to your home, it can enable a person to live comfortably and autonomously.

Those who decide to age in place at home experience a sense of community, individuality, independence, and familiarity. Growing older is an inevitable adjustment everyone will encounter, and preparing your home with the right tools, tips, and tricks makes the transition seamless.

Knowing how to age in place can difficult, though, so we tapped experts for a comprehensive guide on the necessities:

Zero-Step / Ramp Entry

Zero-Step / Ramp Entry

$139.99 at Amazon

Ramp entries are essential for those using wheelchairs, walkers, or who prefer not to use stairs. Ramps alleviate stress on the legs and prevent trips and falls. Ramps should be at least 3 feet wide to accommodate the size of wheelchairs, scooters, and other assistive aids. They should also have a non-slip surface to prevent slips and falls.

“Install a ramp or create a zero-step entry point at the front door to eliminate tripping hazards and facilitate easy access for individuals with mobility issues or using mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers,” suggests Lamberton. “These are usually fairly simple to make or purchase, and they can dramatically increase the ease-of-use issues that can be a challenge with reduced mobility.”

Accessible Bathroom Features

shower chair

$54.92 at Amazon

Slips and falls can happen at any age, but they’re more likely among people 65 and older. Switching up a bathroom can help mitigate the risk.

“Modify bathrooms with features like walk-in showers with low thresholds, grab bars, handheld showerheads, and adjustable-height shower benches,” says Lamberton. “These options are slightly more advanced and costly to add to existing homes, but they can also enhance safety and accessibility for bathing, which is critical for long-term health.”

MORE: 15 products for when you realize you’re getting old

Handheld Showerheads

showerhead

$43.99 at Amazon

Handheld showerheads enhance the shower experience and provide added safety for seniors who are aging in place. They allow individuals to have more control over water usage and pressure. Additionally, handheld showerheads can be used to massage tender parts of the body and for rinsing spaces that might be hard to reach for those with limited mobility, making them a versatile and practical tool for personal hygiene.

Anti-Slip Shower Stickers

bathtub with antislip strips

$7.99 at Amazon

Adding showerheads and chairs isn’t the only way to create a more age-friendly space in the bathroom. You can do something as simple as installing a mat in the bath or shower.

“One of the most overlooked products that we see is anti-slip shower stickers. They are more hygienic than a bath mat and more aesthetically pleasing, making them easy to apply as we age in place,” says Chamberlain.

Night Lights

set of 3 night lights

$29.99 at Amazon

The appropriate lighting creates a safe environment for older adults. Whether you’re headed to the kitchen for a midnight snack or a trip to the restroom, night lights help you maneuver your house without bumping into things in the dark.

“Another easy aging-in-place product is nightlights. I always recommend them on the stairs, hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms. As we age, balance and vision become more difficult, increasing our risk of falls—especially at night,” says Chamberlain.

Lever-Style Door Handles

levered door handle

$31.97 at Amazon

Lever-style door handles make opening and closing doors much easier for someone experiencing grip issues. Replacing door knobs with handles and minimize stress on the hands.

“Replace traditional doorknobs and even faucets with lever-style handles that are easier to grip and operate, particularly for individuals with arthritis or limited hand strength. These types of handles can eliminate the need for multiple muscle operations to perform a single task and greatly enhance the functionality of a home for those with this issue,” says Lamberton.

Grab Bars and Handrails

image of 5 handrails, ranging in white, silver, brown, and black - best age in place products to own

$18.99 at Amazon

Grab bars and handrails can be installed throughout the home to improve safety and mobility for individuals as they navigate their living space.

“Install grab bars and handrails in key areas such as bathrooms, hallways, and staircases to provide support and stability for individuals with balance or mobility challenges. This makes a huge difference with individuals who have partial mobility but need assistance from leverage or to use it as stability. These options are usually quite affordable and can significantly reduce the risk of falls or their severity,” says Lambert.

Carpet Tape

Roll of grey industrial strength superior grip tape - best age in place products to own

$9.99 at Amazon

Tripping is inevitable in a home with rugs, but those growing older, that fall risk is much more dangerous.

Carpet tape secures them to the ground, preventing tripping hazards. Seldin says Industrial Strength Superior Grip Tape is “very simple and inexpensive, but important. Two-sided carpet tape to keep carpets flush to the floor to reduce tripping hazards.”

About the Author
Marsha Badger

Marsha B. is an influential and dedicated journalist who creates insightful and thought-provoking content for various magazines and websites. She is associated with renowned platforms such as Don't Waste Your Money, Simplemost, Huffington Post, Blavity, Madame Noire, HelloBeautiful, Naturally Curly, Fashion Bomb Daily, and many more. Currently, Marsha is serving as the senior fashion and beauty editor for HelloBeautiful, showcasing her exceptional skills. More.


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