There are many simple, no cost and low cost modifications and changes you can make to your home that can greatly increase its comfort, safety, and accessibility. Most of the products needed for the modifications mentioned here can be purchased at your local hardware store.
Throughout the house
♦ Mount smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level, especially outside bedrooms.
♦ Remove all scatter rugs.
♦ Place double-sided carpet tape or selfstick carpet mesh under area rugs.
♦ Increase natural lighting by opening window shades, blinds, and curtains.
♦ Use the highest wattage bulb appropriate for the light fixture or lamp.
♦ Use the newer bulbs and fixtures that replicate natural light.
♦ Replace traditional light switches with large rocker light switches.
♦ Install lever door handles or add-on levers that convert round doorknobs.
♦ Place exposed lamp and telephone cords out of the way.
♦ Install offset hinges on doors to add 2 inches of width for easy access.
♦ Install a night light.
♦ Place non-slip strips or decals in the bathtub and on the shower floor.
♦ Mount grab bars by toilets and tubs.
♦ Install a hand-held adjustable shower head.
♦ Make sure bathroom door can be unlocked from outside.
♦ Install lever handle faucets with built-in anti-scald protection on the sink and tub.
♦ Add a seat extender to the toilet.
♦ Install C- or D- shaped cabinet door and drawer handles.
♦ Place an A-B-C rated fire extinguisher within easy reach of the stove/range.
♦ Install lever handle faucet with built-in anti-scald protection on the sink.
♦ Install handrails on both sides of staircase.
♦ Place non-slip reflective or contrasting tape on edge of the stair tread.
♦ Make sure the staircase is well lit at both the top and bottom.
♦ Install night lights in hallways and at top and bottom of the staircase.
♦ Install a security peephole on exterior doors.
♦ Install motion-sensor flood lights to light the way for you and to deter burglars.
♦ Install photosensitive porch or entryway lighting that will come on at dusk and go off at dawn.
Information obtained from AARP’s Home Modification Brochure