The majority of seniors surveyed have indicated a desire to stay in their home for as long as possible. Obviously the familiarity of the family home provides comfort during aging. However as we age our physical and mental condition changes. Some of the changes we experience include: reduced vision, decreased muscle strength and endurance, reduced hearing, decreased mobility and increased risk of falls.
The concept of aging in place allows seniors to live in their home as long as possible while modifying the home to enable this. Some of the modifications are simple and can be done at a small cost. Things like removing throw rugs to prevent tripping, installing extra lighting to increase visibility and replacing door knobs with levers.
Other modifications are much more elaborate and costly. For example one problem seniors experience is slipping and falling while bathing. One option is to remodel the bathroom and install a walk in tub or curb less shower stall, nonslip flooring and grab bars. Other things could include toilet extenders, Toilet paper holders that can be reached from a seated position and changed with one hand and adjustable shower heads.
In the kitchen lower counters can be a benefit. Also storage should be lower as reaching overhead can be difficult. Replace round knobs on taps with levers. Replace kitchen cabinets with drawers and pullout shelves, they make it easier to see and retrieve items.
Other modifications you may want to consider for your home would be a no step exterior entry, widened doorways and hallways for wheelchair or mobility issues, lower light switches.
Before you go ahead and make expensive changes to your house, I suggest there are several factors you should consider.
1. How long will you be able to stay in your house? Being in your 60’s and doing these things to enable you to live in your house for 10-20 years is one thing. But if you are in your late 80’s and just trying to gain an extra 1-2 years in your house may not warrant expensive renos.
2. How are you paying for them? Paying cash is ok but do you really want to take a mortgage to pay for the renovations.
3. How will they affect future resale? What if you have a health decline and you are forced to sell quickly to move to new accommodations? If the next buyer is much younger, they may be reluctant to purchase your home knowing they will have to spend money to remove some of the renovations.
4. Is there other acceptable housing already built in your area where you could just sell your existing home and move into? Increasingly more homes, condos, apartments and retirement communities are coming with these features already built into them. It may be easier to move to a new home than renovate an older one.
There are many options available to allow seniors to live independently in their own residence. Before you commit to spending a lot of money on your current home, it is worth your while to look at all the options and then decide what is best for you.
Thinking of selling? Download a free copy of my eBook Top 11 Questions Boomers & Seniors Ask About Selling Their Home. Just click here.
You may be interested in these posts also:
- Why You Need A Well-Crafted Will Prepared By An Attorney
- Six Things To Consider Before Listing Your Halifax Home
- Cleaning Out The Family Home
|Roy Thomas SRES® (Senior’s Real Estate Specialist) is a REALTOR® with Sutton Group Professional Realty. Since 1991 Roy specializes in helping retirees with their later in life real estate transactions. If you are contemplating a move and would like a complimentary copy of Roy’s guide to downsizing entitled “Preparing to Downsize” please click here.|