Every year, there are many seniors who choose to “age in place” and live out the rest of their days in the comfort of their own home, versus a long-term care facility. The trend in aging in place is largely driven by rising costs of long-term health care, a more active and independent Baby Boomer generation, and a wider range of technology services (like assistive devices) that make self-care easier. For example, with a few taps of your smartphone, you can hire a handyman. If you struggle with cooking and grocery shopping, there’s plenty of meal delivery service kits. If you or a loved one plans to age in place, here are a few tips for a successful venture:
Think About Future Help
One of the most important aspects of aging in place is the ability to plan ahead. Of course, this might be a little more difficult for you to think about when your needs could change in the future and you aren’t sure exactly what type of help you would need. The first step is to consider the type of help you’ll need in the near future and what that help consists of.
Do you live alone? Do you have family nearby? Do you plan to have a live-in or temporary assistance? Analyze any illnesses that you or your spouses have and talk to your doctor about what kind of assistance you would need in the long-term based on your existing conditions and plans to age in place. Maintenance and landscaping will also be difficult in the future, so you should arrange and schedule regular visits.
Get a New Bed
If you want to spend the rest of your lifetime in your home, your bed should accommodate those goals as best as possible. Restless sleeping is common as you age and is adjustable to help you ensure better posture and the ability to change positions with a few clicks. A great bed can mean the difference between a long night of tossing and turning a good, full night of rest. As you navigate through lists of best beds for seniors, consider adjustable features, beds designed to aid people suffering from back and hip pain, have excellent pressure relief, and strong edge support to make it easier to get in and out of bed.
Prepare for Home Modifications
Aging in place will likely require you to change some aspects of your home to make it a more accessible property in the future. There should be at least one entrance that doesn’t require steps. For homes with more than one floor, make sure that all of your essential tasks can be completed on the main level of your home. You should also install brighter lighting with a dimmer switch to be as bright or low as you’d like it.
Motion sensor lights can assist seniors with moving around after hours. Seated workspaces in the kitchen can help prevent you from tiring out as you cook in the kitchen. Lastly, while rugs would be helpful in the event of a fall, it’s not feasible for easy movement in later years and should probably be removed and replaced with hardwood flooring early on.
Consider a Reverse Mortgage
Getting your home ready for aging in place is a pricey venture. When necessary, you should consider the benefits of a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage works exactly as it sounds; unlike a traditional mortgage, where you’re paying a lender, a reverse mortgage is when the lender pays you. If you’re a senior with piling debt and find your house rich but cash poor as you cover expenses, reverse mortgages are a viable way to cover expenses and offer financial security while you’re living in your home.
How much the lender pays you will depend on several factors, including the current value of your home, your age, current interest rate, and how much equity you’ve built into your property up to this point. To qualify for a reverse mortgage, you must be at least 62 years old and have paid at least half of your home off. This type of loan is easier to get because you don’t need to have great credit or consistent income coming in. To see what you might qualify for, check out this reverse mortgage calculator from All Reverse Mortgage.