Many homeowners plan to stay in their homes over the long term, and some may plan to live independently at home rather than moving into a retirement community, if possible.
Living at home as you age does require advance planning, however. All homeowners wishing to continue living in their home past retirement should plan early for aging in place.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aging in place is defined as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably regardless of age, income, or ability level.
While the goal of remaining in one’s own home is shared by many, it isn’t always feasible due to declining health and changes in finances.
One of the most significant obstacles to remaining in one’s own home is safety. Updates to consider may include a walk-in shower, safety rails, stair lifts, widening doorways, installing non-slip flooring or adding ramps, if a wheelchair is necessary.
Getting the necessities like healthy food and medications to your home can be an issue over time. Luckily, grocery stores and food-delivery services are growing in popularity, and medical delivery services seem to be developing as well. Certain non-profits offer food delivery services too.
While emergencies may be stressful to envision, it’s best to be ready for them before they occur. Living alone can make it difficult to get aid promptly following an accident, but technological innovations can help. Home surveillance cameras and medical alert systems can be a fast and easy way to summon assistance. Establishing a contact, perhaps a family member or friend, to check in on you regularly also could help without the technological investment.
It is important to have access to quality health care and some mode of transportation, too.
Making changes to your home and any continuous maintenance or repair work can get expensive, so you will need to examine your financial situation and retirement savings to see what is feasible.
It would also be wise to seek advice from a trusted financial counselor as early as possible.
On a final note, if you are considering any of these changes to your home and need to hire a remodeler, financial counselor, home security company, or any other business or charity, remember it is always important to research the company thoroughly first.