Seniors have several opportunities when it comes to how they want to live out their golden years. For many seniors, the thought of moving or making a big financial change during retirement can be both exciting and stressful. That’s why it’s important to know your options and weigh the pros and cons of what living situation is right for you.
Purchasing a Senior-Ready Home
There are a lot of good reasons to purchase a home that is ready to support the specific challenges seniors face. For example, if you live in a large family home, downsizing to a smaller house could mean less to clean and fewer utilities to pay — a nice comfort for seniors on a fixed income or who live alone. It also means that you can live independently knowing that this new home is already accessible for your current and future physical and mental health needs.
When considering buying a senior-accessible home, consider:
- Balancing how much money you will likely get for your current home with what you are able to pay for a new home.
- Looking into the housing market so you have a clear understanding of the down payment you might need for the ideal accessible home.
- Working with a realtor who has experience helping seniors find homes that are safe, comfortable and promote independent living.
Purchasing a home that has already gone through modifications for accessibility may save you time and money, but for some seniors, that doesn’t outweigh the cost of giving up their family home. In those cases, you’ll want to look into making modifications to your current home.
Making Accessibility Modifications to Your Current Home
Did you know that slips and falls in the home are one of the leading reasons seniors visit the emergency department? In fact, in the U.S., a senior visits an emergency room for medical care related to a slip or fall every 14 seconds. Get your home ready for retirement by making modifications to protect you now and prevent future injuries.
- Handrails: You can reduce the chance of injury by giving yourself an extra hand on stairs, in bathrooms, and by your bed.
- Non-slip flooring: Be extra cautious in places where water can get on the floor by installing non-slip flooring or mats next to tubs, toilets, and sinks.
- Ramps: Using ramps over or near steep entryway steps can help you reduce the chance you will trip and fall. Injuries from falling on steps and stairs have some of the most long-term health impacts for seniors.
Some of these modifications may seem unnecessary now, but getting ahead of these situations can reduce the chance you’ll face injury in the future. Modifications as a preventative measure have been shown to improve seniors’ quality of life, increase longevity and empower seniors to live on their own for much, much longer. However, some seniors — especially those who know they will be facing specific health challenges as they age — may want a more structured approach to health and happy golden years. That’s where assisted living facilities come in.
Moving Into an Assisted Living Facility
Living in assisted living facilities can help seniors be self-sufficient, while also getting assistance with daily tasks like taking medications, preparing meals and handling personal needs. As you age, you may want more help, and that is the beauty of an assisted living center. You don’t have to move out or hire a caregiver—it’s all right in your own complex.
Other benefits of retiring in an assisted living facility include:
- Planned optional social activities.
- Private rooms or apartments with shared common spaces.
- Access to medical providers.
- Some costs may be covered by health insurance.
- Transportation services.
- Safe and supervised outdoor recreational activities.
Whether you sell your home and buy a safer one, modify your current house, or move into a center with support, you have the right to live out your golden years in a way that is safe, fun, and meaningful. The sooner you understand your options, the sooner you put a plan in place that gets you eager and ready for the new chapter ahead.