Your senior years should be a time to slow down and enjoy the simpler things life has to offer. However, as people age, their mobility decreases and health concerns rise. Getting older means you have to take your living situation and what works best for you into consideration.
Most older adults prefer to stay in their homes. Nothing compares to the comforts and memories of home, but it’s not always possible or safe to remain in the home if your health and mobility are steadily declining. It’s a difficult decision for you and your loved ones to make, but it’s a conversation everyone must have as they age.
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Know Your Options
As people decide where they want to spend their golden years, there are several options to think about. One of the simpler options is to buy a senior-accessible home. If buying a home is in your budget (consider researching the median sale price of homes, along with other home trends, to see what you can afford and find out how to increase your home’s sale price), getting one that is already equipped for senior living means it is move-in ready and requires nothing more than you moving in. Special retirement communities exist to offer amenities for seniors, such as lawn care, and means you’ll be surrounded by your peers.
If buying a new home and moving doesn’t appeal to you, modifying your current home to be senior-friendly is an option for those on a budget. Aging in place is less costly and more comfortable than moving to a new home or an assisted living facility. There are customizations to consider to ensure that your home will be set up as you age and your mobility declines. Modifications range from requiring very little effort to adaptations that will be more complex.
Installing grab bars in the shower and bathtub and near the toilet are easy and cost-efficient additions you can make to your home to reduce your risk of falls. Additionally, adding a heat lamp to the bathroom ensures your bathroom stays warm year-round, as it often takes longer to get in and out of the shower or bath as you age.
More significant modifications include installing a curbless shower or walk-in tub, lowering sinks and countertops, and installing light switches and appliances that are easy to reach. These changes can help you more easily navigate your home as you age. These modifications come with a cost, which must be taken into account when contemplating accommodating your home for senior living. According to the ADA guidelines, the bathroom is the most commonly remodeled room to accommodate a disability and has an average cost of $9,000.
Is a Senior Living Facility Right for You?
There’s a lot of negative connotations associated with moving to a senior living facility. Many older adults worry that they will miss the comforts of their home, one where they may have raised a family. They worry they are losing their freedom or that their loved ones won’t come to visit. All of these are legitimate concerns and must be worked through if contemplating moving to an assisted or independent senior facility.
However, if your health is declining and mobility is limited, choosing to live in a senior living facility is the safest option for you and offers many comforts and amenities, in addition to living among your peer group in the same life stage.
Change is challenging for anyone, and everyone handles it differently. Moving to a senior living facility may take a few days to settle in and get used to your new surroundings. Change is a process and keeping a positive, open mind will help you adapt much quicker. No matter which route you take, having a home equipped for your senior years is a new stage in your life.