A decline in health and loss of ability to function can necessitate modifications within the home. The motivation for implementing changes is to improve the safety of the environment and to facilitate independent functioning. With the right gadgets, an individual can reach and grasp objects for him self or her self. With the proper hardware and equipment, a person can move about without the assistance of another person. Safety modifications also ward off future accidents.

Overcoming Denial: It is hard to accept the need for home renovation. Maybe you have lived in the same home for decades. Maybe you hope that you will recover, soon, to your former independent self and thus avoid this predicament. I suggest that start with a few simple safety upgrades. I also recommend that you ask a home health care professional to tour your home and make recommendations. (He or she may make the same suggestions as your adult children did on their last visit, but it is easier to accept from an “outsider.”)

Getting Started: Each person’s illness or disability is unique. Nevertheless, here are some very popular renovation ideas.


These renovations increase the space to allow for two people to maneuver simultaneously, and with a walker or wheelchair. Privacy is no longer a priority. Safety is.

1. Add grab bars inside shower and at the entrance to the shower.

2. Remove shower doors. Leave open.

3. Add a hand-held shower attachment with long hose.

4. Add a shower bench or chair.

5. Remove door moldings to widen access.

6. Remove bathroom door.

7. Remove throw rugs.

8. Add non-skid strip adhesives to shower floor.

9. Towel bars DO NOT qualify as grab bars! Replace, as needed.

10. Add nightlights and motion sensor lights.

11. Add booster seat with arms over toilet.

12. Remove cabinets under sink to allow for wheelchair pull-up.

13. Cut down edge of tub to ease stepping over it.


1. Modify the bed, such as hospital, electric, side rails.

2. Add a bedside commode, bedpan, and urinal, as needed.

3. Furniture DOES NOT qualify as handrails! Add grab bars to walkways, especially between the bed and the bathroom.

4. Clear pathways of scatter rugs and furniture.

5. Relocate bedroom to the ground floor, if applicable.


1. Add ramps

2. Add rails by stairs and step-downs

3. Level floors between rooms

4. Replace door knobs with easy-to-grab levers

Please Submit Comments using the ‘Contact Form’ and Reference this ‘Post’