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7 Easy Upgrades When Senior Family Moves In

April 8, 2019
3 mins
Cute seniors having a dance party in their living room

Grandparents Day isn't until September but making your home accessible for senior parents can be done at any time. From installing bathroom railings and low-pile carpet to adding wheelchair ramps, there's a lot you can do to make their stay enjoyable and safer.

Use these senior-friendly renovation ideas to help make your parents' golden years the best years.

1. Install Low-Pile Carpeting

Senior Safety Advice suggests loop or low-pile carpet that’s ¼ inch or less. If an ageing parent is using a walker cane or wheelchair, it won’t get caught like it would with thick shag carpeting. Keeping the padding under the carpet thin can also reduce trips and falls.

Low pile-carpeting benefits include:

  • It will trap fewer allergens than high-pile carpeting.
  • It’s inexpensive and easy to clean.
  • It’s durable and long-lasting.

2. Add Hand Railings

Railings in the shower and near the toilet can help an older person feel safer and provide added support. And, don’t forget to include railings on the stairs. Sturdy rails can help a senior feel more confident climbing stairs and the railings are easy to install if you’re looking for a DIY project.

3. Install a Wheelchair Ramp

Many renovations include adding a ramp to the entrance. And, wheelchair ramps can be added to any outdoor/indoor space. Many different wheelchair ramps are portable and can be ordered online and quickly installed.

4. Add Transition Strips

If you have small divides between carpeting and tile, install transition strips or floor mouldings. You can find these at your local hardware store, usually for less than $50. They make it easy for a senior to maneuver a walker or wheelchair from carpet to tile or vice versa.

5. Lighten Up

Adding brighter lights overhead can help tired eyes. Consider installing dimmers to ensure a senior family member has adequate light. Using ambient light or fluorescent bulbs can help older eyes more easily adjust and prevent strain.

6. Widen Doorways

For wheelchair-bound seniors, having access to common rooms can help them stay connected to family. Measure their wheelchair width and add a few inches. Door widths should be 32-36 inches minimum width.

7. Install a New Bathroom

Over a third of all renovations include adding a bathroom for seniors. To keep seniors from having to climb stairs, have a bathroom added to the first floor where their bedroom is located. When a senior family member is able to access common areas it gives them a sense of independence and they don’t feel isolated from others.

And if you ever decide to sell? An additional benefit to installing a new bathroom is it can increase your home’s value. Some estimates say your new bathroom installation project you can get a 50-60 percent ROI. Don’t forget to have an architect draw up new floor plans with the additional room!

Ready to Make Your Home Accessible?

As nursing home costs continue to soar, bringing an ageing parent into the home is a better alternative financially and emotionally. For help with upgrades and renovations to make your home comfortable for mom and dad, contact Apply for a personal loan or HELOC loan today!


The RATESDOTCA editorial team are experienced writers focused on sharing stories and bringing you the latest news in insurance and personal finance. Our goal is to provide Canadians with the information and resources they need to make better insurance and financial decisions.

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