In the past, growing older was always synonymous with downsizing or moving to an assisted living facility. While these are still common options, today about 90 percent of people over the age of 65 want to live in their home and community for as long as possible. This concept is known as “aging in place” and it is becoming widely popular among seniors. If you’re on the fence about what you should do, here are a few reasons why aging in place may be the best option for you.
The Comfort Factor
Comfort is the number one reason aging in place is so popular. At this point, you have already grown emotionally attached to your home, so moving would be a very difficult pill to swallow. It has been said that nothing is as painful to the human mind as sudden change. If you were to uproot your home life and move to an assisted living facility, your normal routine would be switched to meet the facility’s schedule. You may have to eat and sleep at different times than you are used to, and you may no longer have the ability to enjoy your pastimes or hobbies. These sudden changes are linked to stress and depression in older adults, which can negatively impact physical health. Aging in place allows you to maintain the familiarity and comfort that you need.
Making Modifications Increases Accessibility and Value
Are you willing to make some changes to your home to make it more accessible? To be able to live comfortably in your home for as long as possible will require some accessibility modifications. Fortunately today there are plenty of products on the market that will allow you to change your home to fit your physical needs without breaking the bank. Take an assessment of each room in your house and discern what changes need to be made to make aging in place a comfortable process for you.
There are numerous modifications you can easily make yourself. Some quick options that don’t require professional help include changing doorknobs to levers, gauging trip hazards like rugs and cords, installing safety bars in the shower, and installing light fixtures that offer better visibility. Other quick and inexpensive changes include adjusting knobs and door pulls that allow for easy opening with one hand, or installing treads in the bath and shower to avoid slips.
Projects that will require structural changes, electrical work, or plumbing will need to be handled by a professional, but by hiring a contractor you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that everything is installed safely and securely. Some easier modifications for the pros include widening doorways for easy room-to-room access, installing non-slip flooring throughout the house, having kitchen counters that vary in height, and installing pull down shelves. More labor-intensive modifications include installing sinks, lifts or ramps, or building a stand-up shower. Some contractors specialize in accessibility modifications, so consider finding someone who can also help you best determine your needs.
Many homes are designed for young, expanding families, and making your home accessible for older adults is ideal, but with the rise in multi-generational living, it’s also best to make sure your home is accessible to people of all ages. And remember, your modifications will help build equity towards your estate, which is needed in order to gain a profit when you do decide to sell your home.
The golden years are meant to be a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. To be able to spend time doing what you want to do when you want to do it. Maintaining independence is incredibly important for seniors and has a strong effect on mental and physical health.
Choosing to stay in your own home can be a relief, especially once you know how to make it work. And knowing that you can continue with your routine and lifestyle in the comfort of your own home goes a long way towards being able to enjoy your golden years.