Adjusting Your Home Life for a New Phase
As people get older, they may need assistance with everyday chores like cleaning. Illnesses that come with age may contribute to such so-called functional decline, even making personal tasks like bathing difficult. Taking steps now to make life easier when you are older can help reduce future stress. Lay the groundwork by creating the perfect senior home care environment. Below are three popular options and their advantages and disadvantages.
Buying a Senior-Accessible Home
If you are still in the family home where you raised your children, the odds are you no longer need such a large space now that the kids are all grown up. Downsizing to a smaller house means you will have to devote less time, money, and effort for things such as gardening and repairs. When looking for a new space, opt for something senior-accessible; studies have shown that one-story models to be ideal as they don’t require you to climb stairs.
Location is also a factor to take into account when shopping for a new home. You may want to move closer to family because this will provide you with support. There are also drawbacks, however. Read this article from US News for some of the common cons of living near family after retirement, including the danger of becoming a default babysitter and the limitations it places on you area-wise.
Making Modifications to an Existing Home
Another option is to simply prepare for aging by making age-friendly renovations at home. While this allows you to stay in the same space, you will need to spend money on renovations; for example, you might want to widen doorways to accommodate walkers. As Angie’s List explains. “Make sure hallways are lit with automatic night lights, which will assist in navigating your home in the dark.” If you have stairs, an automated stairlift may be a welcome addition to your home down the line.
Daily Caring details some affordable changes to make to your kitchen, such as replacing cupboard knobs with pull handles (which are easier to grab) and keeping items you need daily in lower drawers instead of hard-to-reach cupboards up high. For the bathroom, consider installing features such as grab bars next to the toilet, since standing up gets tougher with age, and lowering sinks to accommodate wheelchair users.
A Final Thought on How to Weigh These Options
When considering these choices, look beyond the practical matters. Take the time to consider what it will take for you to make the most of your later years. Are you intent on being nearby your grandchildren? Are you determined to keep your pet (which has actually been shown to improve senior health)? Would not having a garden be a deal-breaker?
Make sure that regardless of whatever option you choose from the list above, it meets this “must-have” criteria. Every person should be able to pursue their personal passions, whatever their age. With the wide variety of options available, there’s no doubt you will find a new home that accommodates yours.
This post was contributed by Harry Cline at newcaregiver.org – [email protected]