After retiring, most people just want to relax and enjoy the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately, retirees are often forced to move out of their beloved residences for health or financial reasons. At Mason Finance, we believe it doesn’t have to be this way. Proper information and planning can allow retirees to live in their homes for as long as they desire.
This will be the first of two blog posts to discuss strategies for living in your home forever. It will focus on retrofitting your house or apartment to meet your needs as you age and avenues for securing quality long term care.
Retrofitting your home
Many people are forced out of their homes due to mobility issues. Moving around in tight spaces, grabbing items from high cabinets, and bathing can become burdensome activities that are amplified as we age. You can counter these problems by retrofitting your house, a process where your home is remodelled to be more comfortable and accessible during retirement.
Retrofitting can include a number of projects, but here are some of the most popular ideas:
Walk-in bathtub: One of the most dangerous maneuvers a person makes is stepping in and out of a wet shower or bathtub. Especially as we age, no one wants to make off-balance steps onto a slippery surface. Consider installing a walk-in tub. It makes the entire process safe and easy, minimizing the chance of a fall.
Replacing kitchen cabinets: Kitchen cabinets are often located high above the ground and therefore hard to reach. This becomes more challenging with age, so think about replacing your kitchen cabinets now with new ones closer to the ground. While you’re at it, install upward opening doors to make wheelchair and walker access to the cabinet easier.
Move bedrooms to the main level: Stairs pose a problem for anyone with a disability or mobility issue. Determine if you can move all of your necessary household amenities (your bedroom, laundry facilities, and kitchen) to the main level. This will make moving around your house easier as you age.
Make your home wheelchair and walker friendly: The older we are, the more likely we’ll require some type of wheelchair or walker. In preparation, it is important to ensure you home can accommodate these changes. Consider remodeling bathrooms and hallways to appropriate dimensions for wheelchairs. Kitchen appliances can also be lowered and cabinets replaced for ease of access.
Another primary reason retirees move out of their homes is in search of quality long term care. However, people are increasingly seeking solutions to their needs in a more familiar setting.
At-home care has become a great alternative to the more traditional nursing home. It typically consists of a nurse or caregiver coming to the patient’s house either full or part time. The services provided range from assistance with medication to help preparing and cooking meals. The homeowner can rest easy at night knowing they are receiving the care they need but in the comfort of their home.
It’s important to remember that at home care encompasses a range of needs, many of them non-medical. It includes independent people needing occasional assistance with a handful of activities- not always someone requiring intensive medical care.
At-home care is also inexpensive when compared to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Be sure to research your area to find out what at-home care options are available. One option to note is Honor. This company is bringing the power of technology to the long term care industry, connecting retirees with caregivers in their area. Learn more here.
As a takeaway, requiring long term care should not always be a reason to relocate. Be sure to investigate your at-home options first. To learn more about long term care and how to plan for it, check out our blog post here.
We hope these ideas give you confidence and valuable information to continue living in your home for as long as you desire. Stay tuned for Part Two which explains the financial component of staying in your home forever.