Aging In Place: Exterior Home Ideas to Make Summertime More Enjoyable

Make the homes exterior safer and more enjoyable for seniors
One of the goals of Aging in Place design is to plan for low maintenance, including the exterior. Homes that are not prepared for those choosing to age in place often show signs of neglect from normal aging, wear and tear or lack of proper maintenance. Maintenance becomes very difficult for seniors due to reduced physical flexibility and health issues or because of a lack of funds.

Following are some outdoor home updates or choices that will make summertime a more enjoyable time and safer place if choosing to age in place:
  • Choose low maintenance exterior finishes. Consider replacing wood siding with vinyl siding or brick. This is a safety issue as well since as our bodies age, our dexterity becomes limited and climbing and repairing the home exterior can be very dangerous.

  • Install non slip tape to steps
  • Consider adding non-slip tape to steps or installing a textured surface to prevent unsafe entrance conditions. Entrance areas can be very unsafe if wet and not adequately surfaced.

    • Lighting should shine downward, not horizontally
    • Install exterior lighting fixtures to cast light downward, not horizontally.

    • Choose lighting that will avoid producing a glare or at the very least, install frosted light bulbs rather than clear ones if the fixture has clear glass.

    • Choose a light fixture that will be easy to access and change the bulb when it burns out.

    • Also keep in mind to avoid creating shadows with lighting choices because it could hide intruders and cause tripping hazards.

  • Choose and install street numbers that are easy to read from the curb.

    • Consider installing a lighted street number sign.

    •  Have the numbers painted on the curb so emergency responders can find the right address quickly.

  • Opt for Resin-based decking products like Trex for porches and stairs. These materials last far longer than wood and do not require sealing and/or painting.

  • Install low-maintenance landscaping and make sure there is easy access to the utilities like the electrical panels, gas or water shut off valves and fire hydrants. Keep hedges or other landscaping elements near transformers or other utility boxes trimmed.

    • Plant varieties of dwarf plants in landscaping to prevent obstructing sidewalks as they mature.

    • Install raised plant beds built for gardens and flowers for easier access.

    • Consider Xeric landscaping methods to create a low maintenance yard. Xeric landscaping includes plants and elements that require low water usage and low maintenance resulting in easy care and lowered costs. 
                                      Watch the video - how to make a home safer for seniors

Exterior home maintenance can be made easier for seniors with reduced physical flexibility or health issues and even reduced funds with good choices like low maintenance finishes and taking safety precautions. Exterior Aging in Place concepts can help make life easier during the summer for seniors and for everyone. Many Aging in Place ideas are intuitive and common sense. Summer can be a difficult time for seniors but with proper choices and precautions summertime can be an enjoyable and safe time. 

Alesha E. Churba
Written by Alesha E. Churba, CAPS, CD, of A.E.Churba Design, LLC. Pocatello, Idaho. A.E.Churba is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) writing, designing and decorating with her client’s futures in mind. She can be reached by phone (208)-313-6414, by e-mail at or through her business website or her blog:

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House Siding said...

Your sharing ideas are very comfortable and thanks for sharing information about Exterior Home Ideas to Make Summertime More Enjoyable, it's very nice. I like your are information. Thanks

Megan Schmit said...

Nice article. Great points of advice that would be valuable for so many. Aluminum wheelchair ramps are great options when you're talking about a low maintenance option. You are right, it can get very expensive! You want to know that you aren't in danger of falling, slipping, and moreover you want to be able to get outside and visit family and friends too! There are great portable options available for this kind of application.

I work in Marketing for EZ-ACCESS, so I'm familiar with this issue and it's a great article to share with our network! I will be sure to pass this along!

CareGiver Partnership said...


Thank you for your comments. For those interested in learning more, I think this is the web address for EZ-ACCESS - Megan, if this is not correct, please advise.

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing these ideas. I am sure luxury home builders will get something from this as well.

awnings said...

Great tips on how to handle the exterior portion of the house. Maintaining a house is crucial especially if you're planning to keep it for a long time.

Adele Simpson said...

These are great information and useful ideas about exterior home management and designing intended for elderly people and seniors. It is also important to use high quality grade materials to enure that the construction will last a lifetime.

Concrete Perth

Daisy Dee said...

These are great exterior designing ideas. It promotes a healthy and wonderful outdoors to your home. Conveyancing Cherrybrook

Becca@Conveyancing In Melbourne said...

Thanks for such a great information. In these days its hard to find a honest blog about a home conveyancing... Good job!

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