The UK has an aging population, with 19% currently over the age of 65. This is set to grow to 23% over the next few years. Over 45% of people aged over 65 live alone, and many of these people will have changing needs to allow them to live independently as they age.

Growing older is not always an easy topic to discuss, but planning ahead to ensure that the right home adaptations are in place is well worth considering. It reduces the risks of accidents and falls, and can mean the difference between an older relative remaining independent in their own home for years to come, or needing to move into residential care.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider when planning a safe and accessible home for the elderly, or those with reduced mobility.


Step free access

One of the main reasons disabled and elderly people have to move out of their own homes is a lack of step free access. In some cases, an additional handrail may be all that is needed to make going up and down stairs easier. The stairs should be well lit, with no loose or frayed carpets, to reduce the risk of trips and falls. 

A stairlift may be a good solution for those who have reduced mobility, or use a wheelchair. For areas where there are two or three steps, in a split-level room, or an entrance to the house, installing ramps can make life easier. There are a range of portable doorstep platforms, doorline threshold ramps, and lightweight channel ramps available, for example.


The bathroom

Being able to take care of one’s personal hygiene independently is a crucial factor in determining whether a person is capable of remaining at home. There are many bathroom aids and adaptations which allow access for wheelchair users, or those who just need a few extra safety features to make life easier. 

In some cases, this might just mean a grab rail at the side of the bath, shower, or toilet, to help with raising and lowering the person safely, and remaining stable while stepping in and out. Baths may be made more accessible by steps to allow the user to get in and out, or a door in the side of the bath to avoid any climbing.

Another option may be a lift or hoist, especially for those with more severe mobility challenges. Some bath lifts are attached to a built-in seat, so there is no need for the person to transfer once they are in the bath.

Walk-in showers or wet rooms are another popular solution for both private homes and care home users. They offer level access for a wheelchair, and the person can be transferred onto a shower seat. The open plan design allows enough room for a carer to be present, to assist with washing and transferring. 


If you would like some information about a Freerider mini ranger plus mobility scooter, please get in touch today.