Suite Life: Creating a Senior-Safe Basement Apartment for Your Loved One

More families are making the switch from nursing home facilities to home care for their loved ones. It can be a difficult decision, but it often proves to be the better option. Home care is more affordable now, with updated insurance benefits and the opportunity to hire a private nurse.

Care facilities are no longer the safest or most viable option. Families are doing what they can to ensure that their loved one does not experience any form of nursing home abuse. They are several accounts outlined on chronicling the type of mistreatment that seniors have experienced in nursing homes.

Now that you’ve made the decision, your next step is to provide the proper accommodations. Converting your basement area into a safe and accessible living space is a great way to bring your loved one into the home.

Basement apartments give your family member the privacy and independence they deserve while making it easier for you to provide care and monitor them safely. You can install a hospital bed, wheelchair-accessible shower, and other necessary amenities to make their stay as comfortable as possible.

It’s important to remember that every individual is different, so take the time to personalize the space based on your loved one’s needs. With a little bit of creativity and some home improvement skills.

Schedule a sit-down with their primary care provider and ask what essential medical equipment or other day-to-day needs should be implemented into the apartment.

Creating a safe and accessible space apartment for an elderly loved one can provide a sense of comfort and peace of mind for you.

Start With the Basics

Make sure you get your basement waterproofed and insulated. These renovations are essential to the health and safety of your loved one. Any dampness or mold in the basement could cause serious health issues like respiratory infections.

Adding insulation will help your loved one stay warm during those cold winter months and cool during the hot summer days. Insulation is a simple way to improve energy efficiency and make sure your family member stays comfortable.

Install other safety precautions like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and emergency lighting.

Install mobility-friendly flooring and railings. Your family member will most likely use a wheelchair or walker to get around, so make sure the floor is sturdy and slip-resistant. Vinyl and rubber flooring are great material options because they’re easy to clean and won’t absorb spills.

Proof the Space

This space needs to be senior-friendly. Adding plenty of handrails and using bright colors will help your loved one navigate the space safely. You should also consider installing a security system to provide an extra level of protection.

The bathroom needs to be disability-accessible. This means installing a wheelchair-friendly shower with a handheld showerhead, as well as grab bars and nonslip flooring.

If your loved one uses a walker or wheelchair, make sure the doorways are wide enough to accommodate them. You may also need to install ramps or lifts to help them get around.

If the apartment has a kitchen area, it should be stocked with easy-to-use appliances and dishes. Place all of the necessary items within reach to avoid any unnecessary strain.

Put a hospital bed in the bedroom. Make sure you have the right medical equipment installed. If they use a breathing apparatus, then make sure it’s accessible at their bedside.

Everything needs to be hassle-free.


This is your loved one’s new home. Make sure it feels like one. Hang their favorite paintings or photos on the walls. Place comfortable furniture in the living room and bedroom. Get a rug for the living area to add some personality to the space.

Ask them about what color they want to paint the walls and what style of bedspread they’d like. The more personal touches you can add, the better.

If your family member previously had a home of their own, incorporate furniture, decor, and mementos from their previous living space. This will make them feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.

Incorporate means of entertainment. Make space for any hobbies and things that they enjoy. You can install and craft a table or mount a TV on the wall. If they like to read, put a comfortable chair and bookshelf near a window and stock it with their favorite stories.

Making a basement apartment into a safe and comfortable environment for your elderly loved one is a big undertaking but it’s well worth it in the end. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can create a space that will make them feel right at home.

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