As we age, the majority of people would like to do so in their own home. With a bit of planning, the home can be modified so that we can age in place, making our homes work for us as infirmities limit mobility. Modifications for aging in place do not have to make the home appear “institutional”. No one wants his or her home to have the décor of a nursing home or hospital. Today’s advances in smart home technology and new innovative designs and products allow homeowners to have a stylish home that incorporates features that improve safety and comfort without sacrificing style. Stairways The most important safety addition to home stairways is the installation of motion detection lights that come on automatically. Falls are one of the biggest causes of disability and injury in the elderly. Falls can be avoided if all stairways including the entryway, interior stairways, basement steps, back porch, or patio are equipped with motion detection lights. Bathroom Modifications The bathroom is the room in the home that often requires the most modification to enable seniors to live independently. A fully fitted bathroom on the ground floor that provides easy access for persons with limited mobility is the best solution. If is not feasible to add a full bathroom downstairs, a downstairs toilet is essential. If you plan to remodel or refit your bathroom, make sure to include wide doorways that make the room accessible for persons in a wheelchair or walker. Make sure the bathroom is designed with enough room for a wheelchair to navigate safely. Install sturdy handrails adjacent to the tub, shower and toilet. If the walls are not strong enough to support the weight of a person, make sure to add reinforcement blocking. Make sure that the toilet is installed at a suitable height that accommodates easy and safe getting on or off the unit. If feasible, when remodeling include a low-level sink in the bathroom for accessibility when sitting down or in a wheelchair as well as a regular height basin so there is no need to stoop when standing. Let In Some Light If your home interior is dark and dreary, let in some light with the installation of skylights or new energy-saving windows. As we age, budgets are stretched with the high cost of living. Any remodeling or modifications to the home that save energy and save money help seniors moderate their expenses and afford to stay in the home. Ramps One of the most helpful remodeling or modification projects for the home is changing a challenging set of front or back porch steps into a spacious landing area and a ramp for wheelchair accessibility to the home. Before you start a major renovation of senior friendly home modifications, visit your medical supply store, local building supply store and home and garden shows for inspiration and ideas.