Improve or Move

What Are My Options?

While there are a growing number of alternative living options available today, numerous studies conducted by AARP and other credible sources consistently reveal that over 80% of US residents over the age of 45 say they want to remain living in their home for as long as possible, even if they need assistance. That number rises to 95% when people surpass the age of 75.

How do you make your desire to remain living in your own home a reality? The answer lies in being proactive and positive instead of reactive and negative. It’s about making your own choices now instead of having them made for you in the future.

According to a survey by The Hartford, more than 75% of adults between ages 45 and 65 have talked about future housing needs, but only 29% have made a plan. Ninety six percent of those surveyed were aware of changes they could make to their current home to make it more livable as they age, but only 26% had made the changes.

When compared to the rising costs of assisted living and long-term care, home modifications and Universal Design features are a more desirable and cost effective choice for most people. Why choose to live someplace “like home” when you can remain living in your own home?

As your needs change, so should your home’s environment. Every area outside and within your home can undergo improved design and features that will provide continued safety, comfort, privacy and independence for you and your entire family for a lifetime. While the cost of most home modifications can range from as little as $50 to $30,000 or more, they are well below the average cost of one year of care in a long-term care or assisted living facility.

Our Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist can provide recommendations for home modifications to address your unique needs!

Please note that the list below contains general examples of design features and home modifications. It is not intended to serve as a complete list of features that will suit every client’s needs. Proper design, location and installation of features will vary by individual need.

Improve Your Independence 

Learn more about the many possible ways to improve and keep your independence at home for a lifetime!

Home Exterior and Entry

  • Use low-maintenance exterior materials, finishes and landscaping
  • No-step doorway to enter the home with adequate door width and clear space on both sides of the door
  • Properly installed handrails on both sides of steps
  • Safe lighting at key areas
  • Ramp or mechanical lift system to enter/exit the home
Overall Floor Plan
  • Open floor plan for accessibility
  • Main living on ground floor, including an accessible full bath
  • No steps between rooms on the same level
  • Sufficient floor clear/turn space in entryway, living area, kitchen, bath and bedroom
  • Well lit throughout, especially hallways, stairways and task areas
  • Wider doorways and hallways throughout
  • Smooth, non-glare, non-slip surfaces throughout
  • Lever handle door hardware
  • Rocker or touch light switches at appropriate locations and height
  • Easy to see and control or programmable thermostats at appropriate height and location
  • Energy efficient windows to maximize natural lighting with easy to operate hardware and low maintenance exterior and interior finishes
  • Handrails of appropriate diameter on both sides of stairways located at proper height
  • Color/texture contrast to show height changes in work or walking surfaces.
  • Kitchen appliances, fixtures, cabinets and countertops that are designed, located and installed using Universal Design concepts
  • D-style handles on cabinet drawers and doors
  • Pull-down, pull-out shelves or open shelving


  • Curbless roll-in/walk-in shower
  • Seating in shower – built-in or freestanding ADA approved
  • Adjustable height/hand held ADA approved shower head
  • Bathtub – lower, cut-out or retractable side wall for easier entry
  • Tub/shower ADA approved lever handle controls that are properly located
  • Bracing in walls around tub/shower, shower seat and toilet for proper installation of ADA approved grab bars at appropriate locations and height
  • Slip resistant flooring in shower and bathroom
  • Raised toilet seat
  • Wall hung sink or knee space below vanity for use in seated position
  • D-style handles on vanity drawers and doors
  • Ceiling track system to assist with transfers and activities of daily living
  • Accessible and functional storage throughout
  • Communication and monitoring systems that provide convenience, safety and security
Other Ideas
  • Separate apartment or living space for a caregiver, friend or loved one.
  • Flex room that includes a fully accessible bath that can serve many purposes such as a guest room, nursery, playroom, home office, etc.

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