Senior home care often necessitates buying a new, more accessible, home, remodeling one’s current home, or moving to an assisted living facility or retirement community. Many of our sellers are older and are seeking the best option for their happiness and financial future and we understand the struggles that these homeowners may incur with old age. We have partnered with Harry Cline of newcaregiver.org who has written a guest article covering many of these questions and offering sound advice on the next steps to take if you find yourself questioning your future.
“Growing older often means various changes that can make you rethink your lifestyle. Maybe your nest is empty now, and your home has more space than you need. Maybe your back and joints aren’t what they used to be, and you want to simplify for your comfort. Or maybe you need to be free of the financial strain associated with a large house. Whatever drives your decision, there is an option sure to fit your circumstances.
An issue many people face as they grow older is reduced ability to tackle day-to-day tasks. Bathing, dressing, getting in and out of a chair, and so forth become a struggle. At the same time, they want to live full, independent lives. In these circumstances, sometimes an assisted living community can be an ideal choice. These environments are structured to allow seniors to live safely and independently, with the necessary support to manage those difficult tasks. On top of that, they often provide things like access to gyms, organized events, and transportation.
There are several assisted living facilities that offer studio and one-bedroom apartment-like housing, along with a variety of amenities. It’s in your best interests to visit and see if you’re comfortable with what they offer as far as atmosphere and features.
When looking to the future, some seniors elect to modify an existing home in order to improve their accessibility. This might mean staying put and investing in renovations, or moving to a smaller house that lends itself well to desirable changes. With that in mind, there are several things to consider:
Examine the exterior. When looking at homes for your future, it’s important to think in terms of both maintenance and accessibility. A home with easy-care siding and low-maintenance landscaping can free you up from hot, backbreaking work. While looking at the exterior, also consider whether there is at least one entrance to the home which doesn’t require steps. If not, adding a ramp can help you avoid falls, ease coming and going with groceries, and assist you if using a cane or a walker.
Rethinking stairs. If you’re considering renovating a house, it’s important to have a few basics in mind. Seniors often benefit from avoiding stairs as much as possible, so a one-floor living arrangement can be best. If you currently have an upstairs bedroom, consider altering a den or dining area for sleeping. Also, you should have a bathroom, kitchen, and laundry area on the same level. You can even convert a living room to meet your needs. If all else fails, Daily HomeSafety points out you can make your stairs as easy to manage as possible, with good lighting, non-slip treads, and railings on both sides.
Bathroom upgrades. Deciding on renovations is challenging, but there is a hands-down winner in the list of priorities. No matter what the rest of your house is like, give your primary bathroom special focus. This one room of the house is a key scene for potential falls, with the combination of smooth surfaces, water, soap, and changing positions. It’s important to keep the room well-lit, add bath mats to improve traction, and install grab bars in the event you become off-balance. Grab bar placement and installation should be completed properly to ensure they are strong enough to catch you, so review this guide from the Chicago Tribune.
If you’re unable to modify your current home but still want to age in place, you may need to downsize into a new home. Make sure to consult a real estate agent in your area who can help you find an accessible home that’s within your budget. You can use an online home-affordability calculator to get an estimate on how much you can afford.
There is a world of possibilities for seniors who are sorting their lifestyle options. From getting a bit of help, to modifying your home, to downsizing, there are ways to make it happen. Think through your circumstances carefully, and decide what will be best to help you thrive. ”