9 Steps for a Senior-Friendly Property
Go Back to Blog

9 Steps for a Senior-Friendly Property

Senior Housing

According to the US Census Bureau, the US has more than 50 million senior citizens. Many of these elderly are looking for apartments for senior citizens. The good news is many options are available for anyone in the market for senior-friendly housing. Many property owners recognize the need for senior-friendly housing and cater to the demand.

Property managers and rental owners are looking into trying their hands in the senior housing market by modifying their rental properties to accommodate senior needs. Well, in that case, there are a few things you will need to do besides perhaps making use of ExactEstate, a property management software servicing the senior housing market.

To start, you will have to make your rental property more elder-friendly. Since the future inhabitants of your apartment are seniors, the décor and amenities of the home must suit their needs. With that said, this post discusses nine essential steps that will help make your property into senior apartments for 55 and older.

1.  Pay Attention to the Needs and Difficulties of Seniors

Seniors have particular struggles that you must account for when modifying your rental property. You might not be aware of their needs and difficulties, so make it a point to observe the seniors around you. Do some research, even consulting with doctors and health care professionals who are likely to have insights on the difficulties common to aging people.

This is a crucial step to take to ensure that your apartments for senior citizens truly make life easier for them. For instance, mobility is a big issue for elders, making it vital for a senior-friendly apartment to be accessible. Therefore, do your best to find out the needs and difficulties of seniors who will soon be living in your apartments.

2.  Perform an Assessment of the Property

You should identify the senior needs and difficulties when considering modifications to your property. Try to find a home modification contractor to go through your property and look for problem areas. Let them help you find the hidden safety risks for seniors around your property.

Some parts of your rental property that will likely need changes include the lighting, stairs, bathroom, and floors. Remember that it’s not only a good idea to have your home assessed for safety. It’s also required by the law whether the renter is an elder or not. Knowing these hazards will help you correctly modify your property to be ideal for senior housing.

3.  Add Lighting Modifications for the Elderly

The assessment should now have given you some ideas on making your property more senior-friendly. One of which is to add lighting modifications, specifically to install brighter, cooler lights rather than yellow lights. As you may know, many older adults no longer have the same clear vision as they did before, with some even having severe eye ailments.

Apartments for senior citizens must have adequate ambient lighting. Changing the lighting and installing more in your rental property ensure seniors can safely move around the apartment. Besides general lighting, you should also add focused lighting for more specific activities, such as reading. Remote-controlled lights are also an excellent modification.

4.  Modify Into Friendly Floors and Safe Stairs

The floors and stairs are common hidden home dangers for seniors. You wouldn’t think them risky at first, but floors and stairs can cause one to slip and fall depending on the type and style. Thus, modifying your property to have senior-friendly floors and safe stairs is the next step after adding more lights to the senior apartment.

For one, you should have the floors made slip-resistant by removing area rugs and using non-skid mats. Also, please get rid of thresholds or reduce their heights because these trip points could cause slips. Keep in mind that more than one level of stairs is already risky for seniors. Make sure that stairways are well-lit and have handrails on both sides.

5.  Design With Senior-Friendly Furniture

According to research, apartments are more advantageous than buying a house for single-family households. Renting senior apartments for 55 and older is also a better option for older people, especially after the COVID crisis. With that said, it’s a good idea to modify your rental apartment to cater to the elderly, such as by designing the furniture to be senior-friendly.

In which case, consider these tips:

  • Arrange furniture in a way that seniors can move around freely.
  • Put items often used in the lower cabinets for seniors to easily reach them.
  • Invest in senior-friendly furniture like a small shelf or table.
  • Choose furniture with a reclining back, rounded edges, and cushion support.
  • Install lighting into cabinets or buy one with lights already installed.

6.  Make Better and Safer Baths

Also, don’t forget to improve your bathroom and make it safer. Grab bars in the shower are good, but they aren’t enough. There are many other ways you can make bathrooms safe for the elderly, such as adding grab bars anywhere they might need help. For instance, you can add them to the toilet to help when they get up.

If possible, opt for a step-in shower than a tub because they’re less likely to slip in this. If this is not possible, you can also install the grab bars by the tub. You can also install a tension pole if grab bars aren’t suitable. Other ways you can make bathrooms safer include adding a shower chair, non-slip mats, single-handle faucet control, and a hand-held shower-head.

7.  Create Senior-Friendly Kitchens

As the center of the home, you can’t forget to transform the kitchen into a senior-friendly hub. Many older people who are living in apartments enjoy living independently, which means they would be cooking for themselves. Thus, it is crucial to customize the kitchen to make it accessible for seniors, especially for those with mobility issues.

It doesn’t have to be significant renovations, but just minor adjustments like making it easier to access storage. A work table helps seniors with height ailments or in wheelchairs. Meanwhile, you can add more lighting and make the drawer handles easy for the hands. Using contrasting colors in the kitchen also helps make it easier to see for seniors with limited vision.

8.  Make it Easy on Hands and Add Landing Places

Turning a doorknob or even just holding it isn’t a chore for ordinary individuals. But for seniors, this simple task can even be painful due to ailments like arthritis. Therefore, remember to make your property easy on senior hands when you modify it. These can be simple changes, like using lever-style doorknobs and faucets.

Besides the doorknobs and faucets, adding more landing places or furniture around the apartment is also an excellent idea. Most seniors no longer have steady hands and fumble with their keys, mails, etc. Placing a table or any surface near the doors where they can put things down can significantly help them out.

9.  Decorate With Seniors in Mind

Last but not least, use décor that suits the needs and difficulties of seniors. Keep in mind their mobility issues, failing eyesight, and slow movement when redesigning your property into senior housing. Here are some décor tips to have a senior-friendly apartment:

  • Don’t use floor carpet or loose rugs.
  • If you want to use rugs and carpets, secure them with anti-slip underlays.
  • Keep the bathrooms as dry as possible, particularly near the water closet and washbasins.
  • Use adjustable shower-heads.
  • Provide ambient general lighting while making sure it doesn’t produce glare.
  • Add a comfortable area where seniors can do hobbies like reading, knitting, etc.

Wrapping Up

Turning your property into apartments for senior citizens is truly a great idea if you want to invest in rental properties. With many seniors in need of senior housing assistance, there’s a great demand for housing that can accommodate them. However, before you accept any tenant, be sure to make your property more senior-friendly and invest in a reliable tool like ExactEstate.

Want to see ExactEstate in action?

Reach out and send a message to schedule a custom demo to discover how ExactEstate can help your business grow.

View Related Posts: Senior Housing

couple jumping on bed

Senior Housing Property Manager Skills: Best 5

Category: Senior Housing

Managing a property is, in itself, a complex and challenging job. But when it comes to running a senior housing property, the stakes are high. The tenants’ quality of life and safety depend on your s…

Read: Senior Housing Property Manager Skills: Best 5

senior couple looking at lake outside of apartment community

5 Benefits of Property Managers for Senior Living

Category: Senior Housing

There are around 47 million senior citizens living in the United States, with only three percent of them choosing to live in nursing homes. A huge number of the elderly prefer alternative housing opt…

Read: 5 Benefits of Property Managers for Senior Living