Having an elderly parent move in with you is a great way to make sure they have the help they need throughout the day. However, it's important to make sure your home has the right features to allow an older person to live safely and comfortably. Here's a look at four features your home needs to have in order to be safe and suitable for your mom or dad.

(Note that these suggestions apply to an elderly parent who is not wheelchair-bound. If you are moving a wheelchair-bound adult into your home, consult with a building professional to find out how your home can be modified to accommodate it.)


You might be able to jog up and down your stairs without a care, but your parent will need a railing to get up and down safely. Make sure there is at least a railing on one side of your outdoor stairs. If you do not have one, a fencing company like AJ Wrought Iron Security & Ornamental Ltd wrought iron can come install one -- usually in the span of a single afternoon. If you're on a tight budget, choose a plain metal handrail over a fancy wood one. It might not look as nice, but it will be just as safe for your parent to use.

If your mom or dad will be going up and down stairs inside the home as well, make sure those staircases also have railings. Even if you don't think your parent will use a staircase, it's often best to have a railing installed just in case he or she decides to traverse the stairs when you're not around one day.

Easy-To-Use Faucets

Many older adults have trouble gripping small objects due to arthritic changes in the hands. Thus, your parent may have trouble operating a conventional, twist-style sink faucet. Changing all of your faucets over to lever-style ones will make things a lot easier for your parent and ensure the water is not left running for hours because he or she was unable to turn it off. Replacing a faucet is quite simple. Turn off the water supply to the sink, disconnect the old faucet, pop the new one into place, and connect it to the pipes. Most faucets will come with installation instructions on the package.

Grab Bars in the Bathroom

You can help your parent stand up or sit down in the living room or bedroom if needed, but he or she probably wants more privacy in the bathroom. Even if your parent is pretty mobile, installing some grab bars in the bathroom is a good safety measure. You'll want one next to the toilet and at least one in the shower or bath. You can purchase grab bars at most home improvement stores. They attach to the wall with just a few long, sturdy screws.