This article was written exclusively for our Allpoint readers. by our friend Sheila Olson of Fit Sheila.
As we age, we have to start thinking about where we are going to spend our senior years. We want to be happy, but we also have to consider safety. It is not always easy to make a decision, but it is a task that we all have to face. Keep reading for a brief overview of options, from staying in your own home to moving in with the kids.
If staying in your current home is your preference, do a safety sweep to determine if it’s practical. First, talk to your doctor about any potential physical or cognitive issues that you may have now or will encounter in the future. Depending on your home’s age and design, you may need extensive modifications, such as a ramp at the entrance (which can be a DIY project, if you’re handy or know someone who is). The most expensive areas to retrofit for a senior are the kitchen and bath. You might need a full bathroom makeover. Angie’s List estimates this can cost around $20,000. Get several estimates on senior home modifications to determine if this is a financially feasible option.
Buying a ‘universal design’ home
Your next option is to purchase a home that is already set up to accommodate your changing abilities. Talk to your realtor about finding a property with universal design features already in place. According to Reader’s Digest, this should include a no-step entry, controls that are easy to operate, and a single-story floor plan.
Moving into a new home does come with challenges. You will need to determine which of your personal items, including furniture and family keepsakes, can come along with you. You may also need to coordinate logistics with a moving company. Your realtor can help you draw out a floor plan of any home that sparks your interest. This will help you determine what you can realistically move and what no longer has a place as your possession.
You may be able to find a home in an independent living community. This is essentially a planned neighborhood or apartment/condo complex that provides amenities of interest to seniors. An independent living community offers housing, social services, and common spaces for everyone to enjoy. This is an excellent option if you like your privacy but desire the convenience of being close to your same-age peers. Retirement communities may also offer help with transportation and meal prep.
Moving into an independent living center may mean even less space than buying a universal design home. Downsizing your belongings is crucial for this type of move. It can be an intimidating process, but there are many senior moving services that can help you handle both the emotional and practical aspects of this transition.
Assisted living provides more comprehensive services than a retirement community. This may be the most logical option if you need help with day-to-day life. An assisted living community might offer multiple dining options, and all of your expenses are taken care of in a single monthly payment. You may have access to help with medications and bathing but maintain the freedom to enjoy planned outings, shopping excursions, and fitness classes at your leisure.
While you might think of multigenerational living as having your adult children living with you, when you get to a certain age, the tides can turn. Moving in with adult children or grandchildren might be an option if the situation is agreeable to everyone. Keep in mind, however, that this will mean you may have less privacy, which can make life complicated if you are still active, and especially if you’re single and still interested in pursuing romantic relationships.
Even if your goal is to stay put, it never hurts to consider your options. After all, you never know when your situation will change, so keep an open mind and be honest with yourself about your needs.
About Allpoint Home Health
At Allpoint Home Health Care we believe everyone should be treated with compassion, dignity, and respect. Allpoint Home Health Care is here to provide stability of being in your own home. Quality of life, peace of mind, and independence to our clients and families. Our certified care professionals are dedicated to keeping your loved ones safe and comfortable. It is an excellent alternative to a care facility. We provide in-home care for older adults and other individuals who need assistance. We offer 24 hour service, and our services are tailored to meet each family member’s individual needs.