The Impact of Home and Environmental Modification to Seniors

For a variety of reasons, you and other family members may choose to care for a senior loved one at home. As long as the conditions are safe for everyone involved, keeping an aging parent at home is a wonderful option to show support and love. But it’s important to remember that there is an increasing interest in the need to distinguish the environmental level factors for senior care. After all, caregiving is concerned with the safety of the seniors while minimizing daily risks and problems.

Unsafe homes are increasingly becoming the site for health care delivery and senior care. Many seniors receiving family care live in housing that is not suitable for quality care or the delivery of quality care. Too many individuals live in housing that may adversely affect the quality of care and delivery. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found over 6 million households live in either passable or severe housing conditions often related to heating, plumbing, and electrical problems. Such issues pose a serious risk to anyone’s quality of life but particularly for a caregiver’s loved one.  A home environment must encompass the needs, abilities and special requirements for caregiving.

It’s crucial that you evaluate the living conditions of a loved one on a regular basis. An environment that was fine a month ago may now pose a problem. Immediate assessment of the home conditions and modifications can greatly improve a quality of life and quality of care. Keeping in mind the persisting growth of the aging population, this post examines the impact of the development of homes and the environment for elderly people. 

In many instances, the layout and structure of a home prompt the need for evaluating facility just to ensure the safety of an elder loved one. Therefore, to keep loved ones at home understand the relationship between safe housing and health to improve the well-being of older people living at home. 

Improves Elderly Emotion

Keeping your senior loved one at home is a high priority for their safety, but the capacity for your loved one to “age in place” is often jeopardized by environmental barriers. The demand for an effective and safe home environment continues to grow as the elderly struggle to complete daily living activities. To boost seniors’ performance and safety, developing best-fit solutions like home modifications is the best answer. The design and construction of housing has a direct effect on the quality of life and independence of seniors. Eleanor Gaccetta even once noted that the great fear among the elderly is dependency since they see it as a burden for you and other family members. Home modifications like ramps for walking and grab bars in showers and “bed canes” can help them feel safe which alleviates their fears. 

Improves Functions for Elderly

Many seniors appreciate the amenities and easygoing lifestyle of assisted living communities., but most elderly people want to remain in their own homes or with their own family. The cost of living in a senior care facility can be cost prohibitive to many families.  It is expensive.  If a senior can remain living independently or with family they remain happier. Home and environmental modifications can provide enough assistance to enable seniors to remain safe.  Home modifications also provide assurances for caregivers. If a senior relies on mobility aids, like a walker or wheelchair, doorways may need to be widened for easier navigation inside the home. Making modifications to your home can help the elderly feel more independent and functional despite their limited abilities. 

Reduces Risk of Injuries

Falling is the main cause of most injuries of seniors. As we age, we become susceptible to falling. Many easy modifications can be made to prevent fall injuries. It can be as simple as getting rid of potential hazards like throw rugs or adding railings and grab bars, and more lighting inside. These simple modifications makes aging in place a viable and safer option for those who desire to age at home. 

Reduce Demands on Caregivers

Being a caregiver is stressful. Housing, career, family, and caregiving responsibilities all compete for the same 24 hours in a day. Your body, mind, and emotions become vulnerable to overload. But, when environmental conditions are deemed safe, your loved one can move independently and comfortably under your watchful eye. As a caregiver your responsibilities will not lessen, but knowing you have done all you can to make the environment safe for your loved one will lighten your mind. Thus, you can perform other tasks relating to elderly care with more ease. This, in return, reduces the risks of burnout, stress, fatigue, and overwork. 

Overall, the impact of housing and environmental intervention on seniors’ health and quality of life has been the topic of robust research. Hopefully, this post can contribute new knowledge in understanding how housing modification plays a huge role in caregiving and acknowledges the role of the built environment in managing care levels. 


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