Making Your Home Elder-Friendly 

The elderly need an environment where they can move around safely. Modifying your home by removing slippery rugs, installing grab bars, etc. can make your home safer for them, especially after they have returned home from the hospital.

When our loved ones feel safe, they are able to move independently and comfortably. They will also be able to resume their regular routines and activities faster.

To make your home safe, remove potential hazards to prevent accidents and reduce the risks of falling.

Types of Home Modifications

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

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, e.g. bathroom and toilet
  • Removal of rugs and wires on the floor to prevent falls
  • Moving switches to an accessible level to make switches more accessible especially to those who wheelchair-bound
  • Highlighting steps and stairs with fluorescent tape for better visibility at night
  • Moving your loved one to a room on the ground floor of your multi-storey house

More complicated changes include:

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

Getting Help on Home Modifications

An occupational therapist (OT) can help to assess your home, identify potential hazards, and recommend improvements. The OT will assess your home setting, the habits of your care recipient and your resources before making a recommendation.

There are also social service agencies and private organisations that provide home modification services. Use our E-care Service Locator to compile a list of such organisations.

If you stay in an HDB flat, you can consider applying for Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) to modify your home.

Download the HealthHub app on Google Play or Apple Store to access more health and wellness advice at your fingertips.

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