Post-hospital discharge is a relief for many patients. 

After the noise and bright lights of a ward, the unfamiliar food and the awkward visiting times, returning home is something to look forward to. It’s exciting for everyone involved. We recover better in our own comfortable surroundings, after all. 

But it can be a worrying time, and, often, home modifications are necessary, especially for the elderly. Safety measures must be put in place to ensure recovery remains steady and rehospitalisation doesn’t become necessary. 

Preparing the home in the run-up to discharge, including the introduction of home adaptations, is crucial for anyone coming home from a hospital stay. Here are some essential home modifications you can make to enhance elderly safety.

Plan Ahead

Even before you have a discharge date, friends and family can help prepare the home by planning ahead.

While there used to be a requirement for hospitals to carry out a care needs assessment before a patient leaves, many hospitals now use a home-first approach. This means getting patients home as soon as they can be discharged safely, with a further assessment of long-term needs being carried out after a period at home. 

Hospital staff should work with you to make sure post-hospital discharge support and home modifications are in place and ready for the patient before their return. You may choose to consult with healthcare professionals, such as occupational therapists, for their help with personalised home modification recommendations.

You may have come into contact with the NHS Occupational Therapy (OT) team during your or your loved ones’ stay in hospital. Everyone is entitled to an assessment with an OT, but not everyone will qualify for funding help with the suggested home modifications. 

How To Make The Home Experience Safer & Easier

To ensure elderly safety upon hospital discharge, there are plenty of home modifications that can be made in all areas of the home.


Preparing the home for post-hospital discharge doesn’t need to involve a huge adaptation project like a wet room. 

By introducing non-slip bath mats and installing grab bars, elderly users can navigate the space safely and remain steady on their feet. 

To make the toileting experience more accessible, consider swapping out standard toilets for raised alternatives. These are easier for elderly patients to lower down onto and lift from, reducing the strain put on the body.

Another common change on the list of post-hospital discharge home modifications is the walk-in shower or bath. Accessible facilities like these reduce the likelihood of falls and trips because they are level with the floor. 

Temporary shower pods are a brilliant innovation, too. When getting to the upstairs bathroom is a challenge, a temporary shower pod can be installed in a downstairs room to create an accessible bathroom. 

Living For People With Parkinson's


The bedroom should be a place of rest and recovery, and it needs to be easily accessible. Sometimes, that means erecting a temporary bed in a downstairs room because tackling the stairs is too difficult.

Other home modifications that can enhance the bedroom include:

  • Adjustable beds that enable the user to adjust the position of their bed. These are ideal for users who suffer from mobility issues, aches and pains. 
  • Bed rails that can be added to regular beds. These home modifications are simple to install and promote elderly safety.
  • Proper lighting, including touch lamps for easy use and efficient ceiling lighting to help ageing eyes.
  • Emergency call devices, or personal alarms, can be used by the elderly to alert loved ones or caregivers when they’re in need. They eliminate the need to remember phone numbers, as users can simply press a button to connect with a UK-based Emergency Resolution Centre.

Living Areas

Preparing living areas for post-hospital discharge revolves around elderly safety and comfort. 

Spacing furniture further apart to provide clear passage and removing trip hazards goes a long way to making the space easier to navigate. 

Improved lighting also has a tremendous effect on elderly safety. Generally speaking, the more, the better, because ageing eyes need more light than younger ones to see their surroundings properly. From sensor night lights that come on automatically in low light to spotlights above sofas for reading, there are several home modifications you can make to improve living areas. 

Accessible seating areas, including reclining sofas and wheelchair-accessible dining tables, are another must-have post-hospital discharge so that users can participate in home leisure tasks.

Stairs and Entryways

Installing a ramp to aid access to the home can be vital post-hospital discharge if the threshold isn’t level with the ground. There are a variety of temporary ramps on the market that can offer a quick solution, as well as concrete and modular ramps that meet longer-term needs. 


Handrails can be installed alongside ramps and staircases to give elderly users more support during standing activities. For individuals who cannot use the stairs, stairlifts can be installed quickly and transport users between floors quickly, safely and quietly.

Technology To Keep Them Safe

Technology can help to create a safer home post-hospital discharge. We’ve covered personal alarm systems, so here are some other technological home modification suggestions.

Home Monitoring Devices

CCTV and smart home security systems, including video doorbells and smart locks, make life easier and improve elderly safety. 

Forget getting up to answer the door; users can see who is calling and operate the locking mechanism remotely. Smart locks also remove the need for fiddly keys and improve access for family members and carers who can use passwords or codes to get into the property. Smart security systems can be programmed to send alerts as people enter and leave the property, making keeping track of visitors easier than ever.

Essential Home Modifications After Hospital Discharge for the Elderly

Voice-Activated Technology

Smart home hubs sit in your home, connect to your wi-fi, and can be controlled by voice to help with things at home. With a simple voice command, a user can control the lights, motorised window coverings, heating, and even prepare a shopping list or set a timer for the oven.

Financial Assistance and Resources

Funding home modifications for the elderly might feel overwhelming or even impossible. But there’s help out there.

Depending on the adaptations you require, there are grants available to help with financing. In England, minor adaptations costing under £1,000 are usually covered by your local authority, and the Disabled Facilities Grant can be applied for when you require more complicated changes.

Many charities and community groups also offer help with specialist equipment and building work. You can find out all about funding for adaptations in this blog

Adapted home insurance is also worth considering to protect any expensive and important adaptations in the event of damage or accidents. 

Make Room For Comfort And Safety After A Hospital Stay

Home modifications are a critical aspect of care for elderly individuals returning home from the hospital. 

Not only do adaptations make a property more comfortable to live in, but they enhance elderly safety and reduce the likelihood of rehospitalisation due to trips, falls or accidents.

Need help taking proactive steps to prepare the home ahead of a welcome return? See our website to get in touch