Home Adaptation
Home Adaptation

Home adaptation advice for elderly people and their carers

April, 2013

Welcome to the final installment in our home adaptation information for elderly people and their families, who are finding it increasingly hard to complete day to day tasks as simple as moving around their home safely.

In the previous posts our advice for the elderly started upstairs with the bathroom, bedroom and stairs before looking at the kitchen, access & garden. Today we conclude our journey around the home with some more general elderly care advice in terms of home adaptation.


1. Fall Prevention

a. Consider occupational therapy home evaluation

b. Remove hazardous furniture (free-standing fans, high back chairs, pedestal tables, furniture on wheels)

c. Remove rugs that lack non-skid backing (or anchor rugs)

d. Install flush door threshold

e. Remove clutter, exposed wire, or cord

2. Low Vision

a. Remove protruding cabinet hardware

b. Opt for incandescent lighting over fluorescent lighting

c. Light switches should have distinctive on and off settings (avoid dimmer switches)

d. Use blinds to control light and secondary glare

e. Thermostats, telephones and appliances should have large lettering on a contrasting background

3. Hearing Loss

a. Activate close captioning on television as well as amplifiers on television and radio

b. Improve room acoustics (e.g. acoustic tiles)

c. Adaptive equipment for telephones

d. Watches with vibrating alarms

4. Cognitive Impairment or Dementia

a. Lock away potential poisons (cleaning supplies, poisons, extra medications)

b. Cover shiny or reflective surfaces (including mirrors if induce hallucinations)

Reference: NIH Publication 02-5179

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