Three Problem Areas for Aging in Place

aging in place

Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.

~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free


Aging in Place

Three of the most challenging areas of the home to accommodate aging bodies are these; 1) Entry Ways 2) Stairs 3) Bathroom. If you’re going to start tackling home accessibility, it’s these that will provide the most effective remodeling bang for your buck (time and money).

Let’s begin with Entry


  1) Enter and exit of the home

  • At least one no-step entry with canopy/awning for protection
  • Walkway path with little or no slope and 36-inches wide
  • Surface to place packages on when opening the door
  • Accessible level doorbell
  • Keyless door locks operated by remote control or keypad
  • Sensor light at entry aiming at front door lock
  • 36-inch-wide door (to accommodate 32 inches width)
  • Lever-style door handles
  • Non-slip flooring in foyer
  • High/low peephole viewer
  • Ramp to doorway if required



2) Up and down stairs

  • Sturdy handrails on both sides of stairways, 11/4-inch diameter
  • Contrast strips on top and bottom stairs to increase visibility
  • Color contrast between treads and risers on stairs and use of lighting
  • Stair treads are 10 to 11-inches deep, wide enough for entire foot
  • No carpet
  • Stair rise is no more than 7-inches from one step to the next
  • Multi-story homes may provide either pre-framed shafts (i.e. stacked closets) for future elevator, or stairway width must be a minimum of 4 feet to allow space for a stair lift.



3) Safety in the bathroom

  • Bracing in the walls around the tub, shower, shower seat, and toilet for installing grab bars to support 250 pounds.
  • Curb-less shower with minimum of 36-inches width
  • Fold down seat in the shower
  • Handheld adjustable shower heads with 6-foot hose
  • Offset from center tub/shower controls
  • Slip-resistant flooring in bathroom and shower
  • Toilet 2.5-inches higher than standard (17 to 19-inches) with adjustable height.
  • Wall-hung sink to accommodate knee space with a panel to protect user from pipes
  • Bathtub with door for in/out ease, or a bath lift
  • Color contrast edge borders at counter tops
  • One hand toilet paper holder dispenser
  • Wheelchair maneuverable bath on main level with 60-inch turning radius or t-turn space for 36-inch by 36-inch or 30-inch by 48-inch clear space

If you are not up to the task, investigate hiring a Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) trained remodeler. They can set out a plan to prioritize this list and get it done safely.


To contact a CAPS trained Professional in your area: Certified Aging in Place Specialist

Also contact the National Aging in Place Council

Best wishes, Patrick

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