What are Home Modifications?

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On August 23, 2013, Posted by , In General Information, By ,,, , With Comments Off on What are Home Modifications?

Home modifications are changes made to adapt living spaces to meet the needs of people with physical limitations so that they can continue to live independently and safely. These modifications may include adding assistive technology or making structural changes to a home. Modifications can range from something as simple as replacing cabinet doorknobs with pull handles to full-scale construction projects that require installing wheelchair ramps and widening doorways.

Why Do Seniors Need Home Modifications?

The main benefit of making home modifications is that they promote independence and prevent accidents. According to a recent AARP housing survey, “83% of older Americans want to stay in their current homes for the rest of their lives,” but other studies show that most homes are not designed to accommodate the needs of people over age 65. Most older people live in homes that are more than 20 years old. As these buildings get older along with their residents, they may become harder to live in or maintain. A house that was perfectly suitable for a senior at age 55, for example, may have too many stairs or slippery surfaces for a person who is 70 or 80. According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year thousands of older Americans fall at home.

Where Do You Begin?

Before you make home modifications, you should evaluate your current and future needs by going through your home room by room and answering a series of questions to highlight where changes might be made.

You can begin your survey by examining each area of your home and asking the following questions:

Appliances, Kitchen, Bathroom

  • Are cabinet doorknobs easy to use?
  • Are stove controls easy to use and clearly marked?
  • Are faucets easy to use?
  • Are there grab bars where needed?
  • Are all appliances and utensils conveniently and safely located?
  • Can the oven and refrigerator be opened easily?
  • Can you sit down while working?
  • Can you get into and out of the bathtub or shower easily?
  • Is the kitchen counter height and depth comfortable for you?
  • Is the water temperature regulated to prevent scalding or burning?

Closets, Storage Spaces

  • Are your closets and storage areas conveniently located?
  • Can you reach items in the closet easily?
  • Do you have enough storage space?

Doors, Windows

  • Are your doors and windows easy to open and close?
  • Are your door locks sturdy and easy to operate?
  • Are your doors wide enough to accommodate a walker or wheelchair?
  • Do your doors have peepholes or viewing?

Driveway, Garage

  • Does your garage door have an automatic opener?
  • Is your parking space always available?
  • Is your parking space close to the entrance of your home?

Electrical Outlets, Switches, Safety Devices

  • Are light or power switches easy to turn on and off?
  • Are electrical outlets easy to reach?
  • Are the electrical outlets properly grounded to prevent shocks?
  • Are your extension cords in good condition?
  • Can you hear the doorbell in every part of the house?
  • Do you have smoke detectors throughout your home?
  • Is the telephone readily available for emergencies?
  • Would you benefit from having an assistive device to make it easier to hear and talk on the telephone?


  • Are all of the floors in your home on the same level?
  • Are steps up and down marked in some way?
  • Are all floor surfaces safe and covered with non-slip or non-skid materials?
  • Do you have scatter rugs or doormats that could be hazardous?

Hallways, Steps, Stairways

  • Are hallways and stairs in good condition?
  • Do all of your hallways and stairs have smooth, safe surfaces?
  • Do your stairs have steps that are big enough for your whole foot?
  • Do you have handrails on both sides of the stairway?
  • Are your stair rails wide enough for you to grasp them securely?
  • Would you benefit from building a ramp to replace the stairs or steps inside or outside of your home?

Lighting, Ventilation

  • Do you have night lights where they are needed?
  • Is the lighting in each room sufficient for the use of the room?
  • Is the lighting bright enough to ensure safety?
  • Is each room well-ventilated with good air circulation?

Once you have explored all the areas of your home that could benefit from remodeling, you might make a list of potential problems and possible solutions.

Source:  Eldercare.gov

If you live in West Bloomfield Township or the surrounding area, contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today to see what we can do for you!

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