How Do You Convert Your House for In-Home Care?

Author: Andrea Miller

Reviewed By: Mela Furgerson

You can convert your house for in-home care by adapting the layout, rearranging furniture, decreasing clutter and removing trip hazards. Additionally, incorporate features to fit the needs of your loved one who requires care. For example, if they have mobility issues, ideally, everything they need should be within easy access on the first level of their home. Remove safety hazards such as throw rugs and appliance cords that pose risks for older adults. Consider assistive devices such as automatic lights, wheelchair ramps and bathroom grab bars as needed. 

What Types of Home Updates Help Seniors Age in Place?

Types of home updates that help seniors age in place include conversions to single-story living, accessible doors and pathways, non-slip flooring and lower fixtures such as windows, shelves and cabinets. Many older adults benefit from automatic motion lighting, emergency call systems and other smart tech updates.

The kitchen, hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms need at least a 5′ x 5′ space for the person to maneuver easily while using a mobility aid such as a wheelchair, rolling walker or rollator. Hallways must be at least 36″ wide and doorways must be at least 32″ wide to accommodate a standard wheelchair. Bariatric and specialty wheelchairs typically require increased widths and modifications.

Does the Government Offer Financial Help With Home Modifications?

The government offers financial assistance for home modifications to care for a disabled loved one through various programs. The USDA offers the Section 504 Home Repair program. Section 504 provides grants of up to $10,000 for low-income homeowners age 62 and older to update their properties and remove safety hazards. It also offers loans for home modifications of up to $40,000 at a fixed 1% interest rate. 

The Veterans’ Administration offers Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants for veterans with qualifying service-connected disabilities. The funds pay for home updates, including widening doorways and adding ramps to accommodate wheelchairs. Eligible homeowners receive up to $117,014 to renovate, the maximum SAH grant amount for 2024.