My mom is going to be moving in with me. How can I make my house safe for her?


It’s so important to think about safety and comfort when having your parent join your household. Everything you do for her will make your home better for everyone in the family. You can go room by room to determine how safe it is using the AARP home safety checklist.

Don’t get too overwhelmed by all the suggestions. Pay special attention to the bathroom, where, unfortunately, most falls occur. Some of the ideas are pretty easy to do, such as having lever door handles instead of doorknobs. If you decide you need to do some more substantial changes that require a professional, find a contractor who is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS). The National Association of Home Builders lists builders and contractors with this certification on its website.

  • This article was written by Elinor Ginzler, a member of the AARP Caregiving Advisory Panel, is senior director of the Center for Supportive Services at the Jewish Council for the Aging. She is also coauthor of Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide.

Dennis Lippy with HomeFree Home Modification, has had his Certified Aging in Place Specialist designation since 2003, and will come out to your home to provide a NO COST home assessment to help you determine the best modifications to make to your home to accommodate your mother’s needs. You can reach Dennis by calling 770-939-0747, or at

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