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​Making your home age-friendly

When you are caring for someone, it is important to consider adapting or modifying your home to help your care recipient perform daily activities within his/ her ability and with lesser effort.

This will help make the home safer for your care recipient, reduce the incidence of accidents, and support your care recipient in living independently.

When this is taken care of, as the caregiver, you will also be able to perform your task with lesser stress.

Who to consult

An occupational therapist (OT) will be able to assess your homes and recommend the correct actions to remove the hazards in your home. The OT will assess your home setting, the habits of your care recipient and your resources before making a recommendation.

There are also voluntary welfare organisations like Touch Caregivers Support and private organisations that provide home modification services. 

Visit our E-care Service Locator to obtain a list of such organisations.

What to modify?

Changes could be simple adjustments or lifestyle changes, or more complicated like the addition of fittings or structural changes.

Simple adjustments could include:

  • Addition of grab bars

  • Use of non-slip mats or application of non-slip treatments on floors of wet and slippery areas, eg bathroom and toilet

  • Removal of rugs and wires on the floor to prevent falls

  • Changing switches to an accessible level, if your care recipient is wheelchair bound

  • Highlighting steps and stairs with fluorescent tape for better visibility at night

  • Relocating your care recipient to a room on the ground floor (if you stay in a multi-storey house)

More complicated changes include:

  • Widening of doorways for easy access into rooms, if your care recipient is wheelchair bound
  • Installation of ramps
  • Removal of walls

Examples of home modification

Here are some examples of home modifications that have enabled care recipients to be more independent.

Prevent accidents caused by uneven toilet flooring

 

Help your care recipient get up from bed

 

Allow your care recipient to sit while showering

 

Help your wheelchair-bound family member cross the threshold

 

Make your toilet more user-friendly for your care recipient’s safety and convenience

 

Resources to tap on

If you have a chance to plan your home’s interiors or completely renovate your home for your care recipient, it is important to create a barrier-free environment. You can use the examples above as a guide.

Alternatively, you may also like to consult Building and Construction Authority’s Universal Design Guide

If you stay in a HDB flat, you can consider applying for Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE). EASE provides the following improvements in the flat:

  • Slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles of one bathroom/ toilet

  • Grab bars within the flat*

  • Ramp(s) to negotiate level differences in the flat and/or at the main entrance*

*Where technically feasible.

Other Useful Links

Home Modifications

  1. Changi General Hospital – No Falls Programme

  2. Living Made Easy – Tips for Everyday Living

  3. eElderly 长青网 (English) / (Chinese) – Safety tips at home

  4. 太平洋家具网 (Chinese) – Creating a barrier-free home

  5. 好房通用生活馆 (Chinese) – Creating an elderly friendly home: Virtual walk-through

Dementia Care

  1. Virtual Care Home – Creating a dementia-friendly home: Virtual walk-through

  2. 彰化老人养护中心 (Chinese) – Creating a dementia-friendly environment