Part One: Let’s Talk About Staying In Your Home As You Age

by | Aug 1, 2023 | Home Remodeling

Roeser- house addition

When we talk about “aging in place,” we are referring to older people remaining in their homes as long as possible, if not to the end of their lives. Staying in your home as you age is better for your mental and physical health and easier on the pocketbook too. But it does mean looking hard at the home you’re in and determining what you will need in order to stay there safely.

The Roeser Remodeling team understands how important this is. And because of this, aging in place remodeling is one of our specialties. Today we are going to begin a series of blogs about what you need to age in place and how we can help. We’ll get into specifics in future blogs.

Home Layout

A 5×5 “turn around space” should be central to all frequently used rooms such as—living rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. This allows for wheelchairs and those in need of walkers to move safely through those areas without risking a fall or getting stuck.

As an aging in place remodeling company, we also recommend an open floor plan that includes the kitchen, dining room, and living room, with furniture arranged so that the older person can move around safely and comfortably.


Falls are the leading cause of death and serious injury among older people. Good, non-slip flooring in the bathroom and kitchen can prevent this. In other places, low nap carpeting is preferable.

Doorways and halls

Interior and exterior doorways should be flush (no threshold to trip over) and a minimum of 32 inches wide. Hallways should be at least 36 inches wide, with wider being best. Halls should be well lit, with light switches at both ends, placed low enough that they can be accessed while sitting.


It is imperative that there be ADA approved handrails on steps, ramps, bathrooms, and in other spaces where the older person might lose their balance when standing or sitting.

Single Steps

Single or double steps are actually a greater risk factor than multiple stairs. Our depth perception and balance worsen as we grow older and it can be difficult to see exactly how close or far away that step is. This can set you or your loved one up for a life-altering fall. Flush entryways and flooring are preferable, but when step-downs are a fact of life, a ramp with a slope no greater than a one-inch rise for each 12-inches, and handrails, may be your best answer.


If you live in a multi-story home and the stairs aren’t wide enough to accommodate a residential lift, consider having them renovated. A lift allows you and your loved one to safely and easily access the upper floors without worry. Adequate lighting and reflective strips on each step are also vital. Note: if you live in a newer multi-story home, it may already have a space that allows you to add an elevator, which will bypass the need for a lift and is even safer. Roeser Remodeling can help you determine this.


Lighting is an often-overlooked factor when the topic of staying in your home as you age comes up. As we get older, our eyes make poorer use of available lighting. Brighter is better, natural lighting is best, and LED lighting is the kindest when artificial lighting is needed. Accessibility is important too. Light-switches should be easily reached and should be available on more than one wall in larger rooms.

Interior doors

Knobs can be problematic for arthritic hands. We strongly recommend replacing the knobs on interior doors with lever-style handles.


Make sure there are plenty of windows to let in more natural light. Not only is this better for mental health than bright, overhead lighting is, it makes seeing easier. Lower the sill on windows for easier access from a seated position, and install easy-to-use hardware.


When you reach out to companies to ask about aging in place remodeling, be prepared to discuss the kitchen at length. This room is central to so many activities and is important to the independence of the older family member, especially if they derive a lot of joy from preparing and serving food to guests. We should design everything with maximum accessibility in mind, such as lowering counters for ease of access from a sitting position. Consider increasing counter space near large appliances like stoves and refrigerators so that you or your aging loved one don’t have to move dishes very far.

The ability to reach cabinets, pantry areas, and drawers comfortably is important. Lowering upper cabinets and leaving those beneath the counter open makes finding cooking utensils and food stuffs more comfortable for those whose reach might be inhibited by age.

The sink should be easily accessed and faucets should be easy to turn. Consider installing anti-scald controls to avoid burns.


Staying in your home as you age means anticipating accidents and preventing them. And as you probably know, the bathroom is the room in the house where the most accidents occur. Roeser does not cut corners on aging in place remodeling jobs (or any jobs really)—but even if we did, we wouldn’t do so in this room. It matters too much.

If the home is multi-storied, the bathroom should be on the main floor of the home. And it should be wheelchair accessible with room to easily turn around.

Roeser lowers counters, cabinets, and sinks for ease of access, with contrasting borders around the edges so the user can easily see them. The toilet needs to be two and a half inches higher than the standard toilet (17-19 inches) or height-adjustable.

We build bathing facilities with comfort and safety in mind. If building a shower, we make sure it’s well-lit, curbless to avoid tripping hazards, and includes a fold-down seat. We design bathtubs to make sure the user can get in and out without falling. Shower heads need to be adjustable and handheld, with all controls easily accessible from a seated position.

Any bathroom we build includes handrails in the bathtub, shower, and near the toilet. This is the gold standard of safety. Most falls happen when someone who is unsteady on their feet is in the process of sitting or standing.

Ready to talk about staying in your home as you age?

We’re glad you stopped by! Would you like to know more about how Roeser can help you with staying in your home as you age?

We’d love to meet with you and see if our aging in place remodeling services are a good fit for you and your home.

Our standards are high—when you come to us, you should know that. The Staff at Roeser Home Remodeling brings the same standards to every job—quality, customer satisfaction, and integrity. You will always get our best. Without fail. Our goal is to make the entire process as easy as possible while still giving the client the high-quality results they deserve.

Because remodels take a while, we work to build positive relationships with our clients before and during the job. Having strangers in your home five days a week can be stressful. But we want you to miss us when we finish. Our work sites are clean and our employees are always polite and friendly.

Roeser Home Remodeling has been the recipient of many awards, including Best Houzz of 2020. Our Director of Design, Brandi Ward, has won several awards for her kitchen designs, and recently accepted one from ShowPlace Cabinets for her beautiful kitchen design.

We are members of the Home Builders Association of St Louis, which shows our willingness to be held accountable for the quality of our work. Roeser Home Remodeling uses only the best materials, including products like Wellborn Cabinets and Showplace Cabinets. And we have an A+ rating with BBB.

Want to know more? Check out our portfolio and give us a call.