Eighty-eight percent of people 65 and older wish to age in place, according to an AARP survey.
For many people, this will involve staying in the home in which they have been living for many years. For others, it may be necessary to move into a new senior-ready home. Either way, this will probably involve some work as you strive to create an environment that allows you to live comfortably and independently.
Buying vs. Renovating
Many people’s current house may not be ideally suited to their needs as a senior citizen. Some people may live in old family homes that have become too large for their needs, while some have layouts that are not designed for the comfort of elderly people. For instance, according to Forbes, 60 percent of homes occupied by senior citizens have stairs, and 4 in 10 senior citizens struggle to use stairs.
There is also the question of cost. Upgrading your home for elder life can seem like a big expense, although small changes can be done on a budget. The total cost will depend on just how much you will need to change to make your home livable. You need to weigh the cost of renovating your current home against those of purchasing a smaller, senior-friendly one. Include things such as your bills, which are likely to be cheaper for a smaller property.
Key Updates for Aging in Place
If you decide to renovate your current home, your main focus should be safety and mobility. Cater not only to your current needs, but to your future ones as well. Updating a home in order to age in place is all about future-proofing and thinking about what issues you may encounter as you grow older.
Below are a few basic home modifications you can make to your home to accommodate it to your changing needs. Consider replacing your furniture with items such as an adjustable bed or lounge chair.
You may not have any trouble with your floor now, but as you grow older your chance of slipping and falling will increase. The Spruce has a handy guide to flooring for senior citizens, outlining the different factors you need to consider when choosing a new floor, as well as the pros and cons of common options.
If your home is one of the 60 percent with stairs, and you choose not to move, you may eventually need a solution for this. The cost will depend on whether you need a straight stairlift, which will just go up a straight set of stairs, or a curved one, which needs to adapt to your specific staircase.
Older adults tend to wake up a few times every night, mostly to use the bathroom. Make sure hallways are lit with automatic nightlights, which will assist in navigating your home in the dark. You also should install ample lighting in each room, as you don’t want to be straining your eyes unnecessarily.
Bathrooms can be dangerous places due to the high risk of slipping and falling. At the very least, equip your bathroom with grab bars next to the toilet and bathtub/shower, so you always have some support when getting up and sitting down.
You can also position elevated toilets, which are easier to use, as well as accessible bathtubs. These have a small door or platform on the side, which allows you to climb in and out without help.
We all want to age with dignity and comfort, and most of us would prefer to do so in our own home. Aging in place requires some thought, planning and investment, which is why it is best to start thinking about it as soon as possible. Spreading your upgrades across a few years is a good way to avoid being overwhelmed by the cost or the stress of renovations, whilst ensuring your home is ready for your old age.
http://elderwellness.net/ - Written by Karen Weeks for Kamloops Property For Sale