The Art of Aging


According to ASID, up to 90% of seniors want to stay in their home as they’re aging.  Due to this, more and more homes are being built to be handicap accessible as well as to take into account the natural process of aging and the needs of the elderly to extend the time they are able to live unassisted and independent.

One thing I worked on with clients, was to add an area for someone to live-in when the time came that the homeowner needed some assistance.  This is the ultimate solution for someone who does not want to go to assisted living.

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

How Does Your Home Measure Up?

Will your home accommodate you as your needs change? As we age our bodies change. We have hearing loss, changes in vision, loss of strength and dexterity, arthritis. Sometimes we have loss of mobility. There are things that we can do to change our homes or plan new homes that allow us to live independent healthy lives as we get older.

Some changes include grab-rails, special clearances, surfaces that allow us to move easier as well as strategically placed lighting and sound systems.

Kitchens and bathrooms that have special heights and features can make things that have not been comfortable, suddenly much easier to do.

Simple adjustments, like non-glare glass, remote controls or easy to grasp controls. Even colors that let you know where surfaces start and stop can make a major quality of life improvement.

There are many ways to make life easier, whether you are planning for an elderly relative to live with you in your home or planning to stay in your own home and or allow for an extra living space for a caretaker.

Aging in Place Tips

Some of the steps to prepare your home to age in place are simple and others, not so easy.  Take an accounting of what needs to be done to find out if your home can be adapted to age-in-place or accept that you may need to look for a new home.

  • Motion sensors to turn lights on and off at entry locations
  • No steps entry (at least one entrance)
  • Motion sensors to turn lights on and off at entry locations
  • An entrance that is 36″ and clear of clutter
  • Lever style doorknobs
  • A flat threshold
  • Rocker style light switches
  • A bench inside the front door to sit on
  • A table inside the front door for packages
  • Full bathroom on the main floor
  • Master Bedroom on the main floor
  • Bed with easy bathroom access
  • Closets with lights and poles and shelves that are within easy reach
  • No throw rugs (sorry)
  • Area Rugs secured to avoid tripping
  • Handrails on both sides of stairways
  • Furniture placement for clear pathway all the way around – 11″ between sofa or chairs and coffee table, 36″ for clear movement
  • All cords out of the traffic path


  • Easy to reach cabinets in kitchen
  • Task lighting for sink, stove and work area
  • Ideally a kitchen and bath with adjustable counter heights for ergonomic accessibility for all for standing and sitting
  • Elevated dishwasher to reach easy
  • Side-by-side refrigerator
  • Non-slip surfaces
  • Easy to grasp cabinet pulls
  • Faucets with either lever, touch, or sensors
  • Fire extinguisher close to the stove
  • Stove controls at the front
  • Automatic nightlights in halls, stairs, and bathroom
  • Lights at both ends of the room and stairs
  • Toilet height 17-19″
  • Shower with no step entry
  • Showers with handheld or adjustable showerhead
  • Shower with seating
  • Install an easy to read thermostat (big numbers)
  • Windows should be in good repair and easy to open and close



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1 Comment

  1. Susan Browning

    This is great Cathy…looking forward to seeing the 2 week Jumpstart.


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