Whether you call it a Great Room, Bonus Room, Family Room or Living Room, it’s the place where we spend our time relaxing, watching television and socializing. 

When we entertain family and friends in our homes, the living room has to serve both the homeowners as well as anyone who visits.  This means that we need to pay careful attention to safety and functionality, as well as aesthetics.  

Today, I want to share with you some easy updates you can make in your living room that will make socializing with all age groups safe and enjoyable.


“The living room is where we come to think,

to slow down the world for a second.”

– Jason Winston George –

Pinterest pin image of living room with fireplace flanked by two yellow, modern style chairs and white coffee table for blog post entitled How to Update your Living Room for Aging in Place

1. Electrical Outlets

Bending down to reach an electrical outlet can strain your back, or worse, knock you off balance.  If you’re doing any renovations in your living area, ask your electrician to move the outlets so that they’re higher on the wall.

Another option is to use a power bar to plug in your lamps etc.  The bar can be mounted higher on the wall with heavy duty double sided tape, or 3M’s “Command” strips that are strong, but won’t damage the walls.

2. Floor Hazards

Having too many things on the floor creates a tripping hazard.  Make sure there are clear pathways throughout your room by decluttering or moving unnecessary items out of your living room.

Electrical cords that are stretched across the room also create a potential tripping hazard.  Look at the layout of your room and outlets, and place your electronics as close to the outlets as possible.  Also, using a cord organizer and then taping the cords to the base of the wall will help keep them out of the way.  

Area Rugs – Any change in the floor height can be a tripping hazard, however, if you like the warmth of an area rug, a low pile rug is easier to navigate for walkers and wheel chairs. Also, tape down the edges of your rug to make sure they don’t roll up or move.

3. Seating

While some furniture may look comfortable – you know, the deep, low sofas and chairs with big squishy pillows – they are extremely difficult to get up from.  Invest in supportive furniture that is easy to get in and out of.  “Lift” chairs are also a good option, as they are comfortable and will allow a person to get up without assistance.

4.  More on Safety

Improper lighting makes is very difficult to see tripping hazards.  Make sure there is adequate lighting in your living room by investing in bright, overhead lights.  Extra task lights, floor lamps, and table lamps that are unbreakable are also helpful.

A heavy bookcase can become quite dangerous as it may topple over should someone grab it to break a fall.  Consider bolting the bookcase to the wall or removing it from the room altogether. 

Installing grab bars throughout the room would also be a good idea for someone with stability issues.

We spend a lot of time in our living rooms, and with a few changes, it can be a safe and enjoyable space for everyone.

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