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How to Make Your Charlotte Home Safe and Accessible for Aging in Place

How to Make Your Charlotte Home Safe and Accessible for Aging in Place

Today, more and more seniors are doing what they can to remain in their homes for as long as possible. AARP reports that three in four older adults want to age in place! But many seniors don’t think this will be possible for them. From declining health to the threat of isolation, seniors who want to age in place face many barriers. Fortunately, certain modifications and lifestyle changes can help you enjoy a safe and accessible life in the place you call home.


Aging in Place


Be Prepared with an Alternative Plan

While modifications can help you stay safe in your home, the future may bring some insurmountable challenges. Certain physical or mental health changes may indicate that a move into an assisted living facility would be beneficial. Research facilities now so you’re prepared for this possibility. Assisted living facilities are designed to help seniors with their daily tasks of living without stripping away their independence, so they’re a great option for seniors who just need a little extra help throughout the day.


According to A Place for Mom, when you begin searching for an assisted living facility, you should ask yourself some important questions. How much care do they require? How do I go about choosing a good community? What’s the typical cost of assisted living?


Prevent Falls with Home Modifications

When you’re ready to begin making home modifications, start with the things that will keep you safe. A fall can cause serious injuries that may have lasting effects on your ability to live independently. The National Council on Aging recommends assessing your home for fall hazards, paying particular attention to lighting and clutter.


You can tackle many fall-prevention modifications on your own, such as removing area rugs and clutter from the floor, adding lamps to dark corners, and installing grab bars in your bathroom. It’s best to hire a professional to add overhead lights to staircases, install non-slip flooring, and repair damage to outdoor pathways.


Other common household accidents can be avoided through some simple modifications. To prevent fires and burns, install anti-scald devices on taps and safety shut-off mechanisms on your stove. In-hood extinguishers can control fires if they do occur. Hire a professional to make these changes for you, as they involve plumbing and electrical work.


Make Life Easier with Accessibility Upgrades

Other modifications will make your home more accessible so you can enjoy the things that matter. Consider talking to an occupational therapist before making upgrades. These professionals can offer advice on the best modifications for your needs and recommend assistive devices to help you do the things you want.


Since stairs can become a problem for people with mobility problems, install a ramp at your front entrance. Widening the front doorway can also make it easier to maneuver in a walker or wheelchair. Alternatively, you can install offset hinges on your existing doors. Replace any doorknobs with lever-style handles for better grip.


In the kitchen, consider having your counters lowered. Install slide-out drawers in your bottom cupboards so you can access your cookware easily. If you have deep corner cupboards, install a Lazy Susan cabinet organizer so you can grab ingredients without overreaching. Under-cabinet lighting can also enhance visibility in high-use areas of your kitchen.


Consider Preventive Lifestyle Changes

Certain lifestyle changes can further help reduce your risk of falls. For example, strength and balance exercises can help you stay upright if you trip or slip. Similarly, flexibility training can lower the chance that you sustain an injury if you do happen to fall. Engaging in regular exercise is important for preventing fatigue and lightheadedness that may cause a fall.


Nutrition also plays a crucial role in fall prevention. A diet high in protein is important for combating age-related muscle and bone loss that can make you more susceptible to injury. It’s also important to consume a variety of whole foods so you can get the vitamins and minerals your brain needs to stay energized and alert.

There is a lot that seniors and their loved ones can do to facilitate aging in place. While you may not need all of these modifications right now, don’t wait for a crisis to occur. Being prepared with the right home upgrades and a healthy lifestyle will help you avoid illness and injury, so you can spend your senior years how you want.


How to Make Your Charlotte Home Safe and Accessible for Aging in Placevia Eugene Williams –

For senior assistance in the Charlotte area, let’s talk. Call or text (704) 491-3310 or email me at


© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | | How to Make Your Charlotte Home Safe and Accessible for Aging in Place

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Comment balloon 17 commentsDebe Maxwell, CRS • October 12 2019 04:11AM


These are all great advice and I would add from experience with my own Mum falling in the bath, so get rid of baths and install walk in showers. Whilst I know many of the older generation like a bath to soak sore joints, getting in and out of a bath can be an issue. My Mum fell and was trapped in the bath unable to get out for two days. As a result of that fall her kidneys failed and she died several days later. These are not always things people think about as they don't know.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 8 months ago

Debe- what a timely post. My brother and his wife are hoping that her parents will move in with them. They have already consulted someone about making their bathroom more accessible for them. 

And Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 Larry's mother had something similar happen to her. She fill in her shower and grabbed the shower curtain while she fell which caused the water to back up. She did not drown but could have had her gentleman friend not found her. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 8 months ago

Hello Debe - some aging-in-place modifications can be initiated at any stage of life.  For benefits of all kinds.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 8 months ago

Oh, that is a great addition to the list, Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 and I completely agree - it's probably one of the bigger issues seniors have. I personally have a walk-in shower (truly a roll-in) and think I'll be able to age in-place for a LONG time! 😉 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 8 months ago

Oh, that is so smart, Kathy Streib and what a scary story about Larry's mom - she really was very lucky. 

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 8 months ago

That's a great point too, Michael Jacobs! Because of Ray's handicap, we build our homes to be 100% accessible but, unless the fact that it is accessible is brought to your attention, you'd never know it. My point is that those aging in-place modifications are something we can all do anytime - perhaps we should incorporate them in all new ranch homes, etc.?

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 8 months ago

The one subject that can be put-off but not ignored...we are all going that way

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) 8 months ago

That's so true, Richie Alan Naggar. I was at a funeral yesterday, chatting with someone about their mother who is in her late 70's and I was reminded that in ~20 years, I'll be there too! There are definitely things we can all plan for, little by little.

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 8 months ago

This is important information to share. Congratulations on your feature recognition.


Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) 8 months ago

Thank you so much, Roy Kelley! I hope you and Dolores have a fabulous fall week!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) 8 months ago

Hi Debe Maxwell, CRS ,

What a timely post. Even when you think you have all your bases covered accidents happen and falls occur. What is with all the spam???  I've reported but this is getting ridiculous!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 8 months ago

Hi Debe:

There is some really useful information here. Having an alternative (e.g., assisted living) is important, just in case, and should be part of the due diligence...its not easy and you can't just decide one day to go to assisted living and find a place that's available. And understanding the financials is key!! It's expensive!

And there are often services available to help with nursing/meds, cooking, cleaning, driving, etc. Again, not inexpensive and there always seem to be minimum hours required and the challenge of availability of those services...and it may not be covered under insurance or only partially so!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) 8 months ago

Such a great post!  Love your thoughts and ideas.  I'm considering my next home and what I'll be looking for.  Aging in place is a must!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) 8 months ago

You have set for some sound advice and suggestions.

We live in a single level house and have for many years. We are blessed to know that we will never have to climb stairs to go to our bedroom or to a full bath. Out master bath has a shower stall, not a tub. Our home is not perfect but it meets our needs and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Posted by John Juarez, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN (The Medford Real Estate Team) 8 months ago


Posted by wSMQYixopfNTmVA 8 months ago


Posted by ENhxiZOMpKDgQU 8 months ago

Great information and so important to share. Knowledge is power and there are so many great suggestions here.

Posted by Kat DeLong, Realtor DRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate ( (LakeView Realty Enterprises, Inc) 8 months ago

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