10 Projects to Help You Live in Your Home Forever

In response to demands from baby boomers, aging-in-place improvements that help seniors stay safely in their homes are more stylish and functional than before.

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In response to demands from baby boomers, aging-in-place improvements that help seniors stay safely in their homes are more stylish and functional than before. Think of a curved and tiled shower soap dish that also serves as a grab bar. Or a decorative kitchen cabinet pull with a wider loop for arthritic hands.

More forward-looking homeowners are including aging-in-place features in home renovations such as a kitchen makeover, so they won't face last-minute decisions during a health crisis. And improvements such as curbless showers and LED nightlights in soothing colors in a bathroom can benefit everyone from grandchildren to their grandparents. Such changes can also add to a home's resale value, says Mary Jo Peterson, a Brookfield, Conn., kitchen and bath designer and aging-in-place specialist (opens in new tab).

We've pinpointed five areas where improvements could help you stay in your home longer. For each area, click through to see a big project solution followed by a less expensive suggestion. Estimated costs include labor and installation, and they are based on average prices [prior to Hurricane Harvey] in Houston, Tex., says aging-in-place specialist Dan Bawden, who is also president of Legal Eagle Contractors (opens in new tab) in Houston.

Mary Kane
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Mary Kane is a financial writer and editor who has specialized in covering fringe financial services, such as payday loans and prepaid debit cards. She has written or edited for Reuters, the Washington Post, BillMoyers.com, MSNBC, Scripps Media Center, and more. She also was an Alicia Patterson Fellow, focusing on consumer finance and financial literacy, and a national correspondent for Newhouse Newspapers in Washington, DC. She covered the subprime mortgage crisis for the pathbreaking online site The Washington Independent, and later served as its editor. She is a two-time winner of the Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. She also is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, where she teaches a course on journalism and publishing in the digital age. She came to Kiplinger in March 2017.