More and more people are choosing to ‘age in place,’ or to forego moving into nursing homes as they reach their more advanced years. The rising costs of healthcare and the increased effectiveness of medical treatments are making staying at home more attractive to retirees. It certainly is more desirable to live in your own home, the place you’ve stayed in for many years, even in old age.

Services for seniors like meal deliveries and single-button life alert systems are making aging in place a viable way of life. Another way to make this life transition easier for older relatives is to make customized alterations that are sensitive to their changing needs. Discuss the following with a custom home builder to help your older loved one adapt to their new lifestyle:

1. Choose no-step and single-floor layouts

Older people are more likely to break bones after a fall, and it is very difficult for them to bounce back and rehabilitate. Reduce the likelihood of trips and falls by renovating or moving to a home with a no-step floor plan. Your home’s entrances should have no steps. An open floor plan will also help seniors easily see where they are headed or who is coming their way.

Another thing that you should consider is putting their bedroom and other essential rooms on the first floor. If possible, it is even recommended to keep them to a single-floor house layout, so that they can reach all the rooms without needing to climb up and down a staircase. If their current home has stairs or steps, speak with them about the necessity of moving certain rooms down to the ground floor.

2. Install a stairlift or an elevator, if possible

If moving to a single floor residence or renovating is not viable, or if you do not live in an apartment complex with an elevator, consider getting a custom home builder to install a stairlift. This helps your senior age in place without much adjustments and relocations. 

Another option, if your finances are able to handle it, is to install an elevator. This ensures that they get the comfort and safety they need without having to change the home that they love. An elevator is a desirable feature in any home, and it increases its resale value. 

3. Modify doors to make them more accessible

Switch door knobs for door levers. As people age, joint pain and other complications can make it difficult to grasp and turn an object at the same time. Knobs are particularly tricky since they are often made of a smooth type of metal compound. Levers require less effort on the wrists, which makes opening the door an easier task.

Narrow doors or ones that swing into the room are also difficult to walk or maneuver around. This is especially true for people who use wheelchairs, or who need walkers. Larger doorways or sliding doors can make it easier for older people to get from one room to another. A large doorway gives an older person ample room to move their walker or wheelchair. Meanwhile,  sliding doors do not cut into the path of a person walking through the entryway.


Preparing a home for someone who is aging in place involves some modifications to existing structures. Always think of your senior’s welfare and take their daily activities into consideration when making their home comfortable for their old age.

For custom home builders in Greenwood, get in touch with Duke Homes today.