Tips for Seniors: Buying or Renovating a Home to Age in Place

house preparation

People are starting to live longer in this modern age. The quality of living has improved in first world countries, which has made this possible. Diets are one example of this. How much physical activity people get is another factor that affects life expectancy. A really big one is where they live. What kind of house is appropriate for aging in place? There are many things to look into. Depending on how their health is, the house needs to match their lifestyle. How do you determine which house will be right for the elderly? Are they living alone or are they with family or healthcare services? Are they bed-ridden or able to move easily? You have to take time to look for the right home or service when you are looking into residential home remodeling. This article will help guide you through the process of buying a new home or renovating a home to make it safe for aging in place.

Why ‘Age in Place’?

Before the pandemic, there were plenty of reasons to age in place. One example would be retiring. Maybe a senior citizen has finally found that place to settle down in their autumn years. A good number of people would just be happy staying in one place. They are going to need that ideal home to help live out their retirement in peace. Maybe a retirement income planner can help them out. Another good reason to age in place is to be closer to family. There are a good number of elderly that put the value of family above everything else. This is especially true when it comes to the grandchildren. Maybe the second generation has fallen on hard times, and they will need their elderly parents to help them out get back on their feet. Another solid reason to age in place is health issues. While some senior citizens can be as healthy as a horse until they die, there are a number of elderly people that have trouble moving around. COVID-19 has made things so much worse and difficult to stay safe as well. The elderly are the most vulnerable because of it. Some of them don’t want to go into a nursing home. They are going to need in-home care services to help them get around day-to-day. Speaking of COVID-19, the pandemic is another perfect reason to age in place. In fact, when everyone is forced to stay inside, it makes plans to age in place more desirable. The elderly are going to need the right house to do that.

What Seniors Should Look For in a New Home

It might be horrifying to look for a new house at any adult age. Money can be tight and there are so many questions to ask when a person begins their search for a new place to live. What if someone is elderly and they have physical and cognitive problems? What if they need help from someone they trust to help them look for that perfect house? The good news is that a clear head and research can take away such a headache. Here are a few things to look into when looking for the right house for aging in place.

A one-story house would be perfect for growing old in. One of the main injuries that senior citizens have to deal with is falls. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.”

Keeping all of this in mind, it would not be a good idea to have stairs in a house made for aging in place. The best place to start is looking for homes that are one-story. If the house does have stairs, a stair lift can be installed to prevent falling. Speaking of falling, a senior will need to look at how the bathrooms are in a house. If it isn’t the stairs that are dangerous for falls, it is the bathroom. Maybe looking around at the house before thinking about buying it can help.

Another thing to think about when looking for that new house is the safety of the neighborhood. Sometimes, living alone can be scary. The elderly are the most vulnerable when it comes to crimes. It would be best to do a little research about the neighborhood that the ideal house is in. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Maybe someone the senior knows lives there and can tell them everything that they need to know. Go online and look at reviews for the neighborhood. What is everyone saying about it? Are the reviews mostly positive or negative? Keeping all of this in mind can help with making a final decision.

Another thing to think about when looking for in a new home is size. How big should the new house be? If the senior lives alone, they will want to look for a small house. If they are living with family or in-home care services, or they have an active social life, they are going to need to live in a slightly bigger house. The next thing a senior has to think about is who is living with them. Some seniors have their grandchildren living with them. The age of said grandchildren needs to be factored in. Are there any good schools or kid-related places nearby? How good are they? Again, doing some research can help answer those questions. There are some senior citizens that can’t leave alone. They have caretakers that live with them 24/7. Rooms for caretakers have to be taken into consideration. If their caretakers don’t live with them, it would be a better idea to live near the caretakers in a short distance.

The next thing to think about is the quality of the house. Does the house need work done? Is the elderly person into DIY projects or renovation projects? Or do they just want a ready-made house where they can just move in and settle down? Some seniors do not want to take the time to have renovations done. They would prefer to either move into a new house or a house that is still in good condition. The same goes for the yard. Ideally, these seniors would enjoy if there was as little work as possible. Take the time to look at the condition of different houses on real estate sites. It might cost more, but it will be worth it to them. It will save them the work that they will need to do to make an old house perfect enough to age in.

One more thing to look for is how close is everything to the house. The last thing seniors want is to have an emergency and be too far-away for medical care clinics or healthcare services. When looking for a house to age in place in, look around to see how close the home will be to places like the supermarket, healthcare, and other places for senior citizens. But what if money is a problem when looking for a house? First, beware of all scams. As stated before, the elderly are the most vulnerable to crime. This includes scams. That being said, a retirement income planner can help with getting the money an old person needs to get the right house. From there, they can make plans for the move.

But what if they can’t afford a house? Then apartments would be a better choice to help save money. The same tips apply for looking for an apartment as looking for a house. Try to look for apartments that are on the first or ground floor. This will be helpful in case a fire. If a senior can’t do that, they should try to live as close to the elevators as soon as possible. Make sure that the security is top-priority in the apartment complex. They should take in size and who’s going to live with them in an account. Check and see if the apartment is going to take work or not. Once all of that is figured out, the senior will be ready to move in.

How Seniors Can Renovate Their Homes for Accessibility

Maybe, a senior is stubborn enough not to move. They will still need to make their house safe to live in. This is where renovation comes in. A good renovation company will take the time to make the house ready to age in. Safety has to be the number one goal in the project. Once again, falls are the most dangerous injury for the elderly. And where do most senior falls happen in the house? The answers are the stairs or the bathroom. For a house with stairs, a stair lift can be installed to prevent falling accidents in the home. The bathroom has water and unstable rugs that can cause injuries. This is where a bathroom remodeling service can come in handy. They can change the bathtub or shower to make it much easier for the seniors to bathe without fear of falling over if they live alone.

Doors should be the first line of defense. If the door is really old and not secure, door installers are going to be needed to get them up to date. The elderly homeowner can even have a security system installed during the renovation.

What about the yard? That has to be taken care of as well. Seniors should not be afraid to walk across their yard and risk falling down. Renovation companies can work on yard care as well. They can help keep everything looking nice and tidy for the safety of the homeowner. Believe it or not, the yard is part of the home care. The senior will sit down and talk to custom home improvement contractors and work out something to do with the yard.

With all of these home improvement projects, aren’t they going to get too expensive? Will it be worth it to renovate the house? Wouldn’t it be easier just to buy a new house? It all depends on the research. Which would be a good place to start? Maybe do a real estate tax search. This would be a good thing to know this before calling up a renovation company. Depending on the house, this could raise or lower the tax price. Call up a lawyer to help clear everything up.

How can someone be certain that they are getting a good deal on a renovation service? Do the homework when looking for custom home improvement contractors. The best way to do that is look at the reviews left about them. What is everyone saying about the company? Are the reviews mostly positive or negative? Once the right information is gathered, the senior or caretaker can go ahead and make the call.

Aging in place doesn’t have to be so hard. The ideal home can help take away the stress of getting older. A house should be safe for living in. If the research and house preparation are done properly, this goal can easily be achieved. Once the senior is moved in and settled, all they will have to do is take care of themselves and live out the rest of their days as comfortable as possible.