Most seniors deal with some type of disorder of the spine as they grow older. 

You might take back pain as normal as you age. The question is, when does it become your concern? 

If you’re approaching your 50s or a caregiver for one, then this is for you. 

Read more about disorders of the spine and how you can manage them better. 

Your aging back

Nearly 85% of men and women will have some kind of neck or back pain in their lives. 

Unfortunately, the chances of experiencing such pain only increase as you age. 

And that's because aging leads to specific changes within the spine. 

The spine is the central support of our bodies. It's a complex structure that includes vertebrae, ligaments, tendons, discs, and nerves.

Doctor of physical therapy with model of spine

It also supports our weight and connects the key parts of the skeleton. This includes the head, chest, shoulders, pelvis, and legs.

You'll also see that the spine has natural curves that form an S-shape when viewed from the side. 

This curvature of the spine acts like a coiled spring. It stabilizes the spine and helps you keep your balance in upright positions. 

Plus, it acts as a shock absorber when walking and protects the vertebrae from fractures.

Another structure that helps absorb shock and transmit loads is the intervertebral disc. 

It's a rubbery pad or jelly-like center that cushions between the vertebrae. These help keep your bones from rubbing against each other.

Together, the vertebrae protect the spinal cord and nerves. And it allows you to bend and move your back.

But, like any other body part, the spine is susceptible to daily stressors that wear down its structures.

Specifically, the intervertebral discs dry out and shrink. It's because the moisture content lowers as we age.

And when this happens, the vertebrae begin to rub against each other. This results in arthritic back pain and soreness.

These aspects of the aging process may even be more accelerated if you have activities that put an unnecessary load on your spine. 

Or worse, if you smoke, are overweight, and have previously experienced a spinal injury.

What causes spinal degeneration 

As most people know, proper nutrition and a balanced diet are important for optimal health.

The problem is, only less than half of the elderly meet dietary guideline recommendations.

low back pain

For most seniors, a common health concern is their low calcium intake. 

Low calcium intake leads to lower bone density and early bone loss.

That's why it's important that our seniors get the right amount. Because it also helps lower the risk of developing osteoporosis. 

Osteoporosis is a condition where the chronic bone loss results in weak, easily fractured bones. 

Bad lifestyle choices and habits also lead to weakened bones. This includes overeating high-sodium foods, sugary snacks, and alcohol use. 

Unfortunately, women are more prone to degenerative spinal problems after menopause.

Osteoarthritis, also known as the “wear-and-tear” type of arthritis, is another major cause. 

The cartilage covering the joints that connect the vertebrae is flexible and elastic.  And, it helps keep the joints moving.

But as we get older, the cartilage in our joints fades, so our joints become less flexible. 

This then puts more stress on the joint and can cause back pain.

Meanwhile, the space that surrounds and protects the spinal cord can narrow over time. This is a condition known as spinal stenosis.

The compression of the cord and spinal nerves can then cause numbness or burning. 

Other common problems causing spinal degeneration are slips and accidental falls. 

elderly lady after fall

Falls often have a massive impact on the bones throughout the body. And they range from minor to severe and even debilitating.

It can even cause discs between vertebrae to become compressed, damaged, or bulge.

What's more is that high-risk individuals, such as the elderly, are more likely to sustain significant injuries much greater after a fall. 

Read more about musculoskeletal disorders here to know what causes spine degeneration in the elderly.

Types of spinal deformity common in seniors 

You may be wondering, what are some disorders of spine commonly found in seniors?

The causes and effects of degenerative disc disease (DDD) are relatively simple.

As we age, our discs change, our bones get affected, and we eventually develop pain.

It even helps to think of DDD as a cause-and-effect process. 

When anatomical changes happen, it leads to further degeneration and spinal structural changes.

And such changes combine to cause degenerative disc disease and its symptoms.

Over time, the collagen structure of the annulus fibrosus, the disc's tough outer layer, weakens. 

Disc degeneration symptoms usually appear where the damage is. The pain can range from mild to severe.

painful disorder of spine.

And it may worsen during bending, twisting, or lifting something heavy. 

In the case of lumbar disc degeneration, the pain may be accompanied by numbness or tingling. This indicates damage to the spinal roots.

Aging also causes our bodies to produce fewer proteoglycans. This is a substance that makes our body capable of withstanding forces.

When these changes happen, the disc may not handle mechanical stress. 

The elderly also tend to have tighter and weaker muscles, especially the hip and back. 

Because of this, their bodies limit overall mobility. And lower physical activity is observed.

This can cause disuse (physiologic) atrophy. This is a condition where there’s wasting or thinning of muscle mass.

What's more, is that we experience muscle loss (sarcopenia) at age 30. 

During this process, the amount of muscular tissue and fibers in the body decreases. 

This then results in extra load on specific joints, making us at high risk of falls.

A 2015 report showed that sarcopenia increased the incidence of low-trauma fractures from falls, such as hip, arms, and leg.

Mobility loss can also cause more than just the decreased ability to move freely. Older adults may not engage socially or maintain their independence. 

According to the CDC projection, 49 million older people will fall each year, which will cause 12 million injuries and cost more than $100 billion in health-related costs by 2030.

In a 2013 study on older adults, reduced life-space mobility and impairment were linked to lower social engagement. 

Further, mobility loss not only affects senior's physical and mental health, but it also affects them financially.

How to manage disorder of spine 

There are many ways to manage spinal disorders in seniors. 

And conservative care is enough to stop these symptoms as far as treatment goes.

First, we need to learn how to maintain our seniors' healthy weight. Extra pounds can strain the lower back, especially in the mid area.

The more weight they have above above age appropriate norms, the more it puts pressure on the body. 

So good spine health can start with making the right food choices. Stick to plant-based proteins and fiber-rich foods to keep them healthy.

healthy food

Limit intake of high-sodium foods and sugary drinks as they increase joint pain and muscle aches. 

Keep them hydrated as water also keeps the discs full of fluid to cushion the spine during movement.

It's also best to keep our seniors moving. Regular cardio and muscular activity can help relieve muscle stress and inflammation.

Seniors are recommended to go for low-impact exercises such as walking for at least 30 minutes per day.

Building muscles and strength as well as weight bearing activities can improve bone mineral density and reduce risk of future injury.

Also, simple things like encouraging them to practice good posture and advising them to use proper body mechanics can make a huge impact. 

It is also best to talk about their lifestyle habits like nicotine use as this increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Doing physical therapy exercises is another great way to manage back pain or other disorder of spine

PTs can prescribe a back-healthy exercise program. This can help seniors build strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance.

They also focus on activities targeting the core muscles helping the spine become more resilient.

physical therapy for disorder of spine.

Read more about mobility training here.

Taking pain medications like acetaminophen can also be beneficial. It helps relieve inflammatory pain. Be sure to check with your doctor if you are taking any other anti inflammatory meds or blood thinners.

Complementary techniques like dry needling and manipulation can also be prescribed. This is observed if the back pain does not improve with conservative treatment.

Dry needling can helps relieve chronic pain by stimulating the healing process of the body. 

For those with severe and debilitating pain, surgical treatment may be the last resort. Be aware of risks and benefits of any recommended surgery. 

It's usually only an option after at least six months of conservative treatment. So always consult your doctor about what's best for your situation.

Final Thoughts

Older adults commonly deal with some type of disorder of the spine. 

And mostly, it’s accompanied by pain which can be minor or even debilitating for some.

The good news is that we can do simple exercises and treatments to manage them.

And it's not too late to help keep their spine flexible and strong far into their golden years.

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. THE NEED FOR CAREGIVER SELF CARE WHEN CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. BEST MOBILITY AIDS FOR SENIORS THAT WON'T BREAK THE BANK
  3. HAVE A SAFER HOME FOR THE ELDERLY WITH 5 MUST HAVE FEATURES

There are many benefits of occupational therapy for adults

Despite this, most are still not familiar with what an occupational therapist does to help seniors continue aging in place. 

So I sat down with Kelsey Mason, a good friend, and occupational therapist to learn more about occupational therapy for adults and how it can keep our aging parents living safely and independently. 

What does a day look like for an occupational therapist? 

Kelsey: My day usually begins with fixing my schedule. 

I do my rounds checking on patients’ homes as a home health care provider. I usually have six to eight patients in every round. And the first thing I do daily is to confirm appointment schedules. 

Some patients can get overwhelmed with the healthcare providers they work with. So I check and see if they are good with the visit, or if they need to move it to another day. 

Routine visits usually last about 30 minutes per client. But the time spent can also depend on certain challenges in the home. 

Some patients have kids, pets, or activities that may disrupt the routines so they can last ‌longer. 

I’m a supervising therapist, so I do more OASIS documentation level visits, research, evaluations, and discharges. So it usually takes more time and paperwork.

Once I’m done with my rounds, I go back home and finish the documentation. The documents are then submitted by 10 AM the next day. 

What are common questions you usually get about occupational therapy?

Kelsey: Usually the question is what is occupational therapy and if it’s something people can do by themselves. 

Truth is, occupational therapists have a range of things they can do. It could be more ortho-based, ADL, or IADL-based activities. 

We can help patients who have arthritis and chronic pain, stroke patients, or those who suffered brain injuries. 

We can also help those who had spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, and other orthopedic-related cases. 

Occupational therapists also help seniors or patients with cognitive decline deal with activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). 

What’s the difference between the two? 

ADLs are the basic self-care tasks that we learn as children. These include dressing and grooming, bathing, toileting, and feeding. 

Most might think these are super simple tasks. But for seniors or patients dealing with recent trauma, it can be far from easy. 

Especially if the patients are suffering from movement challenges or cognitive decline. 

On the other hand, IADLs are a bit more complex. These are tasks that older adults need to live independently without any assistance. 

These are higher-level tasks that adults need to do to function normally. Tasks like cooking, cleaning, driving, organizing schedules and bills, even doctor’s appointments. 

How does occupational therapy for adults benefit seniors? 

Kelsey: The biggest benefit of occupational therapy for adults is to help them stay at home safely. 

The goal is for seniors to do their ADLs and IADLs without any problems. This way we can avoid any further medical complications that can worsen their conditions. 

We might think it’s simple for us. But for older adults, living alone can be dangerous. 

Ideally, seniors would have at least a caregiver or someone from the family to check on them. 

Some have caregivers who help them do the basic things like helping them bathe or prepare their meals. 

Others also have medical insurance that gives them access to caregivers at a certain period of time. 

Occupational therapists can help educate and train caregivers at home with certain techniques. Or show them what ideal independence for adults should look like. 

Without the proper assistance, older adults may be prone to higher risk factors like accidents. 

Seniors without proper hygiene practices can lead to other medical complications. This can translate to wounds, falls, more doctor visits, or hospitalizations. 

I also get asked how family members can get recommendations for occupational therapists services for their loved ones. 

The quick answer is to ask your medical practitioner about it. Once therapy is prescribed by the doctor, the order is sent to a local provider.

Once you have that, an evaluation will be scheduled from an occupational therapist or an agency. 

There are agencies available that are rated by stars, and you can pick whichever agency you want to help you get started. 

Hospitals and social workers can also help you with choosing. But everything starts as soon as we get a recommendation from your doctor.

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Caregiver tips from an occupational therapist 

Kelsey: The bathroom ranks the highest as the most accident-prone area in the house. 

Thick rugs, dark spaces, tile floors, and residual moisture can spell disaster, especially for those aging in place. 

So caregivers and family members also need to make sure these areas are well-kept to avoid any accidents. 

As for seniors with cognitive decline, there’s really no easy way of handling them. 

The easiest way to do it is to implement safety immediately. 

Make sure all things that pose as a hazard are taken away from them. Remove car keys, unplug ovens or anything sharp that can cause accidents. 

It would be best to install ring cameras, chimes, or anything that can let them know the comings and goings of people in their homes and rooms. 

For families and caregivers, start conversations early on. These conversations are usually difficult because not every parent admits the need for help. 

It can also cause friction and misunderstandings, but as long as you learn to communicate well, things will work out in time.

If you’re a caregiver or a family member who takes care of seniors, take time off for yourself. 

It’s OK to use services like adult daycares so you could take a break from all the stress. 

And it’s perfectly fine to ask for help. 

Read more about self-care and get ideas on gratitude journal prompts here.

Final thoughts 

Occupational therapy for adults is a necessary part of living independently for seniors. 

A huge part of their role is to make sure that seniors get to live their lives freely and safely. 

It might sound simple to us. But for people who suffer from physical or cognitive issues, tasks like grooming or feeding can be so difficult. 

That’s why occupational therapists are necessary for seniors to keep their autonomy. 

If you have any questions about occupational therapy services, feel free to contact Kelsey here.

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AGE IN PLACE DESIGN GUIDELINES MADE ACHIEVABLE FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW ELDERLY HOME CARE MAKES AGING IN PLACE POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS
  3. 5 SAFETY TIPS IN THE KITCHEN FOR SENIORS AGING IN PLACE

Home inspections are essential in keeping our elders safe. 

The goal is for them to continue living independently as long as possible. And for that to happen, we need to make sure that we limit potential accidents at home. 

So what should you be expecting during home inspections? 

And how can you keep your loved ones out of harm’s way while aging in place? 

Why home inspections are important for aging in place

About 90% of Americans aged 50 and older want to stay at home as long as possible according to AARP. 

Many choose to stay close to their communities despite the challenges of aging. 

The challenge is keeping seniors safe while choosing to age in place. And regular home inspections can make that happen. 

There are two necessary types of home assessments. The home evaluation and the home inspection.

A home evaluation is performed by a licensed Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist. Recommendations are made to improve safety within the home related to mobility and ADL's.

Home inspections are completed by home inspectors and help identify problems with the structure of the existing home.

These can range from minor threats to greater risks related to the safety of the building and its construction. 

Professionals who do home inspections make recommendations of what to repair and update to be up to current building codes.

They can set the standards for what is safest and promote universal designs

Traditional home designs are not as safe as we think. And it was only in early 2000 that cities began to acknowledge the need for universal design in homes. 

Houses built in the post-war period were not designed with aging in mind. Many of them are pre-fabricated, and could be ordered out of a Sear's catalog.

The problem is, many of the doorways and walkways are very narrow and lighting is often inadequate for aging eyes. There are many other concerns and issues that arise from a house that is 70+ years old.

We want to make sure that their living space is sturdy and comfortable.

And since most of the homes they live in are older, you need to identify potential hazards with the right inspections.

 

How home inspections work 

The goal of inspections is to make sure that the home’s physical structure and systems are working as intended. 

It usually takes two to four hours depending on the size of the house.

A home inspector will use a comprehensive checklist to identify potential safety issues.

These can include electrical cords and cables and their positions around the house. Inspectors will check for exposed wiring and fire hazards. 

Level flooring is also checked to determine if there has been any settling in the foundation that needs to be addressed. Making sure floors are level reduces risk of tripping, falling and injury.

Moving appliances closer to wall outlets also removes the need for extension cords which lessens tripping hazards. 

Floorings and floor coverings such as carpets and rugs are also checked. 

Inspectors will suggest removing any rugs that tend to slide on the floor surface. You can replace them with those that have slip-resistant backing.

Some elders are not as comfortable with new technology and still use wired telephones. Because of this, installed phones are also placed in strategic locations around the house. 

Ideally, it should be in areas where it can be easily accessed during emergencies. These might include bedrooms, living areas, and kitchens. 

Local police and fire departments, doctors’ numbers, family members, and neighbors should be listed where they can see them clearly.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is also more common than you might think. 

CDC states that approximately 430 people die from accidental CO poisoning in the US alone. And about 50,000 people visit emergency departments due to accidental CO poisoning. 

That’s why it’s necessary to check carbon monoxide alarms regularly, especially where elders live alone. 

It's suggested that at least one smoke detector be installed on each floor of the house. 

Detectors should be installed near the bedroom and placed away from air vents.

They will also examine electrical outlets and switches to see whether they indicate unsafe wiring conditions. 

Inspectors will recommend an electrician if they locate such unsafe outlets. 

And, they would suggest that switches and outlets should be fitted with cover plates to eliminate shock hazards.

Light fixtures are also inspected whether they are fitted with bulbs of the proper wattage. Bulbs with higher wattage can overheat and cause fires, especially in ceiling fixtures and recessed lights that trap heat.

Wood burning stoves were also common features in the past. And it’s necessary to keep these things in check. 

Note that insurance companies may not cover fire losses if wood-burning stoves do not meet local codes.

So, it's better to have them properly installed by a qualified contractor.

tools needed for home inspections

Leaks can go undiscovered for a long time. What you might think are minor leaks can cause huge problems over time. 

Water damage causes harmful molds. And drips on electrical panels might even start a fire.

Inspectors will also examine your hot water tank if it's high for legionella risk.

Legionella causes pneumonia. And continued exposure will result in recurrent sickness for elders. 

Emergency exit plans are equally important for homes and buildings if a fire occurs. Because of this, windows, doorways, and other exits are checked to see if they meet standards. 

When are home inspections required?

A yearly examination allows you to spot problems early and fix them.

Homes fewer than ten years old may only require a home inspection every three years. But a complete house inspection every five years is essential for excellent home upkeep regardless of age.

It is also recommended to do routine checks around the house to fix minor issues. Doing so will help you determine if a professional is needed for the fix. 

Keep the receipts for upkeeps and other maintenance tasks you’ve done. This way it’s easier for the inspector to see what else needs an update. 

It’s also important to do checks especially when the season is changing. 

Check on heating, ventilation, and insulation before winter comes to save on energy costs. 

home inspection drainage

In the summertime, see if the air conditioning units are working well. If you’re in an area where rainfalls are frequent, check the roofs for holes and drips. 

Check drainages, airways, and vents for potential fire hazards and sparks. 

These can all be minor details in the house. But it can save you thousands of dollars if it's properly maintained. 

Read more about safety tips to follow for senior care in winter here

Home inspection checklist for aging in place 

vents home inspection

We’re already familiar with how to keep our elders’ homes safe. But as you know, there are also other areas of the house that need to be seen and evaluated for safety reasons

Here are some of the things you need to check in and around the house for quality home inspections. 

Laundry Rooms and Basements 

Some homes have separate laundry rooms. Other ones are found in basements. 

For elderly homes, make sure that railings are installed correctly on both sides of the stairs. It is best to consult a professional to keep measurements up to code. 

If stairs are not carpeted, add adhesive stair treads for additional safety. 

It’s also practical to paint the bottom step a different color. This will help your elders identify the last step from the basement floor. 

well lit laundry

Some cleaning agents, detergents, and fabric softeners come in large, heavy packaging. Take time to sort it out and divide it into smaller portions. 

Doing so will make it more manageable for them to handle. 

It also makes sense to provide your elders with socks with non-skid soles to keep them from slipping. 

Make sure to put other cleaning agents and chemicals where they can be seen clearly. If possible, put them in cupboards where they can reach them easily. 

Also, check for molds, leaks, or infestations, to avoid future health issues. 

Garage 

Make sure to keep the garage free from clutter. 

Power tools and lawn chemicals are dangerous especially for seniors with dementia. Elders might be tempted to fix things inside the house on their own. And this may pose a greater danger for them. 

So it’s best to keep your garage organized. Keep power tools and other dangerous substances and chemicals locked up at all times. 

Add secure railings if there are any stairs involved. And it also helps to add a layer of security to garage doors if possible. 

Garages present an easy entry point for trespassers and break-ins. So if this is a concern installing alarms and cameras in these areas can reduce worry. 

Check for potential problems in automated garage doors. And make sure the alarms have fresh batteries every time. 

Front yard and porches

home inspection foyers

Most seniors love to hang out on porches and front yards. But these also present a huge risk, especially if the porch is aged and made out of wood planks. 

Check on railings and steps and make sure they’re steady, not wobbly. 

Handrails are also a must, especially with steep stairs. 

Repair broken steps and sidewalks as soon as possible. Or have an alternate route planned for them instead. 

Be aware of sidewalks with broken bricks or uneven cracks. A petition to the local municipality may help bring awareness to needed repair of walkways.

Make sure the place also has adequate lighting even at night. 

Some walkways and driveways are prone to freezing over. Avoid uncovered walkways when there is ice on the ground. Unless there is an emergency, the risk of a fall and fracture is too high.

Here’s a comprehensive home safety checklist you can download from HomeInstead.com. 

Final thoughts

Home inspections help ensure our elderly parents’ long-term independence. 

The goal is for them to move around in their homes without worry or fear. 

To do this, regular inspections for minor repairs are needed. Doing so will help you save time and money eventually. 

But to make sure things are at par, it’s still best to have a professional home inspector do it for you. 

This way, you can breathe easy knowing that your parents are healthy, safe, and happy. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AGE IN PLACE DESIGN GUIDELINES MADE ACHIEVABLE FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW MOBILITY TRAINING CAN BENEFIT ELDERS AGING IN PLACE
  3. TOP REMODELING HOME IDEAS FOR SENIORS AGING IN PLACE
JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.

Are you thinking about remodeling home ideas for your aging parents?

Most of us assume that home remodeling would be too costly. 

Come to think of it, 55% of fall injuries happen at home. And 25% of hospital admissions are related to falling injuries. 

That’s why it makes more sense to invest in home remodeling to keep our aging parents safe. 

So today, we’re going to talk about remodeling home ideas. 

What is the concept of universal design in the home building?

Most houses today are designed to meet the needs and preferences of active individuals. 

And often, they are unsuitable, even dangerous for our seniors. 

Some elderly may have chronic conditions such as arthritis, visual or hearing impairments, and other illnesses affecting their health.

This may make it difficult for them to carry out routine duties at home.

In most cases, universal design characteristics can apply to new or existing houses. 

According to the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD), universal design pertains to making buildings and establishments more accessible to all, regardless of age, size, and disability. 

Universal design is an inclusive philosophy. It creates solutions that will work for all and addresses all stages of human life. 


The concept allows builders and designers to think about all users and encourages them to think outside the box. 

Check out this video from Mashable.com 

The problem is, universal design is not fully embraced worldwide. In the US alone, there are twice as many mobility-challenged individuals as home that are accessible.

Statistics show that only 6.6 million homes are livable for people with moderate mobility difficulties. 

The good news is, newer homes made in the 2000s are now becoming more accessible. 

Unfortunately, most homes built earlier do not have the safety and mobility features.

A Harvard article shows that most homes do not have accessibility for older people. And millions of seniors also find it difficult to afford their current housing units and renovations. 

Some even find it challenging to identify home modification needs in their own homes. 

Read more about aging-in-place remodeling guidelines here.

5 Myths about aging in place home remodeling 

There are a lot of myths floating around concerning house plans for aging in place. 

However, simply believing them could cause you more harm than good. 

So, let’s read on and debunk these five misconceptions about home remodeling.

Myth 1: Home improvements for aging in place only focus on safety upgrades

Safety and fall prevention are the most important considerations when upgrading homes for aging in place. 

However, the design of aging-in-place should go beyond safety upgrades to create a comfortable environment.

Designing for comfort in aging in place remodeling includes looking for solutions to alleviate any pain that a typical home setting can cause. 

For example, those aging parents who have arthritic conditions.

According to the Center for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), almost  50% of adults over 65 years old have arthritis pain.

Even if your aging parents do not have arthritis, their hands are likely to become weary and uncomfortable as they age. 

Putting improvements in place now to reduce or prevent arthritic pain later should be at the top of any aging-in-place renovations priority list.

Myth 2: Seniors are the only ones who should consider house plans for aging in place

The universal design philosophy addresses the needs of people from cradle to grave. 

That means everyone can benefit from these renovations, not only seniors in the home. 

The basics like well-lit hallways and properly stored wiring and cords are practical. 

Trips and falls can be dangerous for any person at any age. So it makes sense to adopt these tips to keep everyone in the family safe. 

Families with kids or those with mobility issues will also benefit from wide doors and zero-step entrances. 

The goal is for the whole family to experience ease and comfort while keeping everyone accident-free.

Myth 3: An aging-in-place home requires a complete remodel

Of course, the extent of any remodeling will be determined by the size of your current home. 

However, many typical house features can be modified or updated to meet the safety requirements of an aging-in-place home.

It’s not restricted to complete remodeling.

Technologies such as Wi-Fi-connected thermostats, smart refrigerators, and even video-enabled doorbells qualify for aging-in-place remodels. 

These features make it easier to manage the home, especially those with limited mobility.

You can also choose to remodel one room at a time. Think of the most accident-prone areas like the bathroom and kitchen and start from there. 

Myth 4: Home improvements for aging in place look like nursing homes

Numerous aging-in-place features are equally appealing. 

Recessed lighting is a great example.

It can be found above primary in living areas, master bathrooms, and kitchens in nearly every new residential building project. 

You could still create a warm and welcoming environment at home while keeping it safe. 

The point of remodeling is to make sure the home is livable and aesthetically pleasing as well. You want your parents to have enough air circulation, ample lighting, and a good amount of space.

You can also choose the right colors that could assist in regulating positive emotions in them as well.

Ask for their favorite colors and their opinions on what they want to add. Doing this will encourage them to take ownership of their place.

Myth 5: The resale value of aging in place homes is lower

Most would think remodeling homes for aging in place lower the home's resale value.

Truth is, it's the other way around.

It is said that households with people aged 65 and above will increase by 75% until 2030. Demands for home plans for aging in place will also increase in the foreseeable future.

Younger people and those with special needs would want to have a comfortable home fitted with their conveniences.

And they will see the value of remodeled homes when the time comes.

What to consider before thinking of remodeling home ideas

Home remodeling can be a joyful experience for most.

However, as you juggle budget and design choices, remodeling projects may also bring a fair amount of stress. 

Fortunately, here are a few points to consider before jumping in with renovations.

Budget

It’s understood that budgeting for a renovation may be a complicated process, whether you plan to modify a house before moving in or remodeling your current home. 

It will help you make better choices on remodeling features once you have a basic idea of how much money is available to spend.

Remember that most renovations end up costing more than anticipated.

So set aside some funds in case of unexpected expenses.

To create a budget, you can follow these steps:

There are also financing options available for those who have limited funds. 

Some families consider a reverse mortgage or home equity line of credit for expenses related to aging in place remodeling.

Non-profit organizations like Rebuilding Together also offer financial aid and volunteer labor for low-income houses and older adults. 

remodeling home ideas - budget

Priority areas for remodeling

If there’s one room in your aging-in-place house where you should spend money, it’s the bathroom. 

That’s because accidents in the bathroom result in more severe injuries than anywhere else in the house.

A barrier free or "curbless" shower is a great way to improve safety and reduce fall risk in the bathroom.

Non-slip floors and ADA-compliant faucets and fixtures are also two essential areas to focus on while renovating your aging-in-place bathroom. 

Next, consider which parts of the house your elders spend the most time in. 

Do they spend time outdoors in a garden? Are they more of a bookworm? Do they enjoy watching TV? 

Remodeling homes don’t always need to be expensive. Sometimes it takes a matter of organizing and getting rid of clutter. 

Other times, it could be adding assistive technology to specific parts of the house. 

What matters most is making a choice that makes sense to the elder aging in place. 

Experts and consultants to hire 

Another thing to keep in mind while modifying a home to make it more senior-friendly is that contractors specialize in aging-in-place remodeling.

Some changes that will make your home more comfortable for seniors may seem small and easy enough for you to do it independently.

However, it’s always a good idea to have someone get things professionally done.

home remodeling

Some designers and contractors specializing in house modifications for the elderly may renovate or create an environment with every convenience. 

The Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists, or CAPS, specialize in helping people age in place. 

Consider hiring a CAPS to assist you with making improvements to your house so that your elderly parents can age in place. 

You can also ask healthcare practitioners to guide you about the changes you should consider. 

It pays to consult physical therapists and occupational therapists for their recommendations. They can give you standards and other home improvement ideas for aging in place. 

Have a checklist ready for remodeling home ideas 

It helps to have a checklist of what to remodel to make budgeting and planning much easier. 

Knowing what to check keeps your senior’s future health challenges in mind. 

This will also help you understand and prepare for their needs and keep them living independently as long as possible. 

When it comes to the budget, the checklists can give you an idea of how much to prepare. And if you need assistance or grants, it will also be easier to plot. 

Download the free checklists for remodeling home ideas below. 

Conclusion

Remodeling home ideas has one goal in mind. And that is to keep our aging parents living comfortably and independently. 

It doesn’t always need to be expensive. Sometimes all you need to do is identify the right space to maximize. 

And if you’re out of budget, you just need to know where to go to ask for help. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AGE IN PLACE DESIGN GUIDELINES MADE ACHIEVABLE FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW ELDERLY HOME CARE MAKES AGING IN PLACE POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS
  3. 5 SAFETY TIPS IN THE KITCHEN FOR SENIORS AGING IN PLACE