As you, your parents and your loved ones age, your homes may not age so well along with them. The editors and experts at The Family Handyman recommend these cost-effective DIY upgrades to make your homes safer and more senior-friendly.

Widen doorways with offset hinges

Often, folks find that they need to widen their doorframes as they get older and start to use a cane, walker or wheelchair. It’s an expensive and complicated job, but consider expandable offset door hinges to help find spaces easier to maneuver. 

Replace toggle switches with rocker switches

Rocker-style switches are easier for arthritis hands to press flat than toggle switches. The big on/off plate can be operated with a simple finger, knuckle or even an elbow and they’re easier to find day or night. 

A showerhead grab bar is a big help

Say “grab bar” and most people picture round, institutional looking bathroom aids. But bathroom fixture manufacturers are responding to a surge in the number of seniors by offering many very fashionable options that look elegant and natural. A grab bar can be a lifesaver for those with limited mobility or who prefer to shower while seated.

Add keyhole lights

This quick solution can prevent a lot of frustration, and many come with solar power so you don’t even need batteries. No more fumbling in the cold looking for your keys.

Extend stair rails

One in three seniors will fall this year and 20 percent of those falls will contribute to their deaths. Help them out by putting a bench near steps or extending crucial stair rails.

Get LED lightbulbs

The average home has 40 lightbulbs. Changing a burnt-out bulb often involves climbing a ladder or step stool and risking a fall. Replace lightbulbs with CFLs or LEDs to cut down the need for the homeowner to change the lightbulb