Guest blog post by June Duncan
After your adult children have flown the nest, or if age-related health issues are making it difficult to live alone in your current home, you may consider making a change in your living arrangements. Nowadays, many housing options are available for seniors. Here are some tips and resources to help you find the best option for you, courtesy of Organizing with Amy.
Purchase a Senior-Accessible Home
When your children don’t live at home anymore or if you’ve lost your spouse, you may consider downsizing or moving to a more senior-friendly house or neighborhood. Find a real estate agent who will help you sell your existing home and find the perfect new residence for you. Some things you should consider as you’re looking for a senior-accessible home are limited stairs (or no stairs at all), wheelchair ramps, grab bars in the bathroom, and handrails wherever you may need assistance steadying yourself.
Beyond the house itself, consider the amenities available in the neighborhood. Are there any convenience stores close by? Pharmacies? Restaurants? Will you have easy access to doctors? Think of the activities you enjoy taking part in: will you be able to continue participating in them if you move away? Make sure public transportation is readily available wherever you move, should you ever need to stop driving your own car. A good agent will make sure to take your current needs into consideration when finding you a home, but will also think ahead in terms of further accommodations you might need as years go by.
Make Your Existing Home More Senior-Friendly
If you don’t have a need to downsize and you still enjoy living in your current house and neighborhood, you should think about making modifications to your home to make it safer and easier to navigate as you age. But remodeling a house can quickly become expensive, especially if you need to replace stairs with ramps, add a stairlift or redesign your kitchen. If you need help with financing your home remodeling projects, consider refinancing your house loan. If you’re a veteran, take advantage of VA IRRRL refinancing: the application process is easy, and refinancing with a VA loan may even lower your mortgage payment.
Work with a trusted contractor to make your house more accessible; you may need to enlarge some doorways to make them wheelchair-friendly, lower countertops in the kitchen and the bathroom, and install motion-activated lights to help you walk about the house at night. Your safety and comfort should be your contractor’s top priorities when redesigning your living space.
Move Into an Assisted Living Facility
For some seniors, living at home is no longer an option, and they may have to consider moving into a retirement community. Choosing the right one for you will depend on the level of care you need. If you’re still mobile and independent, moving into an assisted living facility might be just what you need. You will enjoy having your own space, but you’ll feel safe knowing that if you ever need personal or medical assistance, someone will be right there for you. Such facilities are great if you enjoy socializing with your peers as they usually offer dining accommodations for their residents, and organize games and activities like movie nights and dances. They also offer amenities like fitness centers, pools, and laundry and cleaning services.
If you need more help with your daily care, a skilled nursing facility or long-term care home will provide more assistance in terms of everyday activities, administering medications, physical and occupational therapies, and meals. Choosing the right one can seem difficult at first but a great place to start is by checking their reviews, then contacting them with questions. If you suffer from dementia, memory care facilities provide extra supervision and security, with trained on-site staff to care for their residents.
As you grow older and your housing needs change, reach out to professionals that will help you choose the best home option for you, keeping your well-deserved safety and comfort in mind.
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