Author: Harry Cline of NewCaregiver.org
“In less than 20 years, a third of U.S. households will be led by an adult over 65, but more than 95% of U.S. homes lack aging-in-place features to make them safe and accessible for … seniors,” according to the experts at SeniorAdvisor. The majority of seniors do not have senior-friendly housing, so what’s to be done?
As a senior facing this housing “crisis,” you have a choice to make: modify your current home, buy a new senior-friendly home, or look into other options like assisted living facilities. To help you decide where to live out this chapter of your life, here’s a look at three options.
Adapt Your Home for Your Aging
Are you perfectly content where you are and don’t want to leave home? Then stay, but only if you’re committed to making the necessary changes to keep you safe at home. This doesn’t mean that you just have to purchase Life Alert, you have to take charge.
Walk through your home and make a list of things that already give you trouble — or might in the future. For example, every step up in the home should be noted. Consider the heights of your cabinets and countertops. Are entryways wheelchair accessible? It can get overwhelming when you start really looking for things that might need to be modified.
If you’re at all concerned with missing something, feel free to have an onsite evaluation done by a contractor specializing in senior home modifications. You can also research things online since there are all sorts of resources available you can reference.
If the modifications needed to keep you safe at home are not possible, or you don’t want to worry about it, think about moving into an out-of-the-box senior-friendly home.
Relocate after Retirement
Maybe you need a change of scenery. Besides, you don’t need four bedrooms anymore. Now’s the perfect time to find a home customized to fit your current and future needs.
First, you have to create a budget. Your budget in retirement can be the deciding factor when you’re deciding where to go. Since you’re choosing to age in place, you have to take maintenance, transportation, and future medical costs into consideration when making this budget. Things will add up once you start looking into the costs for these items.
Once you’ve created your budget, you’ll have an idea of what mortgage you can afford, which is key. You shouldn’t have to worry about making the mortgage payment and not knowing when you can afford a vacation. You worked hard to get to retirement. So, consult with an advisor, or utilize an online mortgage calculator to help you see if the price checks out.
Remember that if you do choose to move into a new home, you’re leaving behind the community you once had, and things can get lonely at times. This is why aging in place isn’t always the best option for seniors, especially those that crave an active social life.
Assisted Living Options Abound
Thankfully, there are options for the social butterflies or other seniors that don’t wish to age in place. No matter where you are or what sort of life you want to lead as a senior, there is an assisted living facility for you.
For more than 30 years, designers and senior care professionals have been developing communities that meet the needs of seniors across the United States. Different facilities offer varying amounts of care for seniors, from helping with maintenance and bathing to skilled nursing for those that need 24-hour attention.
Some of these communities are more cost-efficient than taking on a mortgage and paying for the cost of in-home care. Once you find the community that fits your lifestyle, consult your budget and see if it makes the most sense.
Since you’ve made it this far, now is the time to truly live your life to the fullest. The only schedule you have to go by now is the one you set. Think about where you’ll be happy, and what you could compromise for if need be. Live this last chapter to its fullest.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
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About the Author:
The above article Tips on Setting the Scene for Your Retirement was written by Harry Cline. He is the creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-Tos for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.