How to make your home accessible for older relatives

Sponsored Post¦ It’s always a concern when relatives are getting older. Many of us will want to continue to care for our family ourselves for as long as possible. After all, love and familiarity are so important! However, whether our home is actually suitable or not is a worry too as they become less able. Here are some things that you can do to make your home more accessible and suitable for older relatives, whether you intend for them to live with you or just visit a couple of times a week.

Downstairs toilet

Most of us become a lot less mobile as we get older. This can make going upstairs to the bathroom difficult, or at best more cumbersome. If you don’t have a downstairs bathroom or toilet, it would be a good idea to think about getting one. Many people achieve this by having the front of their house extended. In doing this, they have a porch area with a small toilet room to the side. When we bought our house, a toilet room had been created in the space under the stairs. As long as taller members of the family are mindful of the sloped ceiling, this is another great way of making room for a downstairs toilet in your home.


Of course, in some houses there simply isn’t the room for a downstairs toilet. There’s also the problem of the fact that it’s probably inevitable that your relative will want or need to go upstairs at some point. After all, most bedrooms are upstairs, as are bathrooms. This is where it would be very useful to have a stairlift installed. It takes out the difficulty of walking upstairs with bad hips and knees, as well as the concern of frail loved ones falling.

Walk-in bath/shower

It can be virtually impossible to step over the edge of a bath to get into it or stand in it to use a wall mounted shower. It can be even more difficult to get back out again! This is where a walk in bath or shower is a good idea. The shower is fairly self explanatory, but a walk in bath has a door that opens on the side. Once the bath has been walked into, the door can be closed and the bath becomes watertight. Often these baths and showers also have a bench seat, making it far easier for elderly people to use as they don’t have to get so low or stand for as long.

Age UK Mobility can provide stairlifts as well as walk-in baths and showers.

Hearing loop

If your family member uses hearing aids, it could be a good idea to get a hearing loop installed. This could even just be done for the television so that they can enjoy their favourite programmes without the interruption of background noise. Using a hearing loop can make things far more comfortable for them. Meanwhile, a neck loop may help them to hear people standing or sitting next to them better. While the latter isn’t something you can do to your home to make it suitable, it may be a worthwhile investment nonetheless if they struggle with their hearing.

Ramps and rails

Paths and external steps can be a problem anyway, but can be treacherous in icy weather. Installing a hand rail gives you something to hold onto to steady yourself and will give older members of the family much more confidence. It should greatly reduce the risk of falls! Even better, a ramp provides more accessibility and is a lot easier to use if a wheelchair or mobility scooter is needed.

Emergency cord

Of course, everyone needs their privacy at times. The worry of your relative having a fall while in the bathroom and you not hearing them call for help can be eliminated by installing an emergency pull cord. That way, should they find themselves in a predicament they can set off the alarm for you to come to their aid.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Age UK Mobility. As always, all views and opinions are honest and my own.

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