If you’re a senior, you may have reached a point in your life where you realize that some changes to your living situation are in order. When you bought your home, you probably weren’t thinking that, someday, it may become dangerous for you. Eventually, you may have to decide whether to buy a senior-accessible home, do modifications to your present home or move into an assisted living facility. Before you decide, it is best to know all the factors involved.
Buying a Senior-Accessible Home
Purchasing a senior-friendly home can be a great solution. Home builders and designers have taken note: They are using high-tech and ease-of-use designs to produce more senior-friendly, wheelchair-accessible homes. To top it off, these smaller homes require less housekeeping. This could be a turnkey solution to your problem.
However, this choice would subject you to the hassles of downsizing and moving. You may have to distance yourself from long-time friends and your favorite haunts. On the financial side, if you sell your present house at a profit, it may increase your tax liability. It could also affect your pension and other benefits.
Modifying Your Present Home
You may feel like part of the 90 percent of seniors who dread the thought of ripping up roots and moving to a strange environment. The good news is that aging in your current home can be a viable option to consider. Contractors can modify your present home to be senior friendly by installing stair lifts, wider doorways, push button entries, motion sensors and automatic shut-offs for electrical appliances. Also, the bathrooms could have walk-in tubs with chairs and rails.
Additionally, you may qualify for financial assistance for your project. Although Medicare does not cover the cost of home modifications, you can get reimbursements for assistive technology that’s installed for medical reasons or prescribed by a doctor. Also, you may find financial assistance through non-profit organizations like Heroes at Home depending on whether you qualify.
With home modifications, one of the costliest potential setbacks is hiring fraudulent or incompetent contractors. You can avoid this by making sure your contractors are licensed. Online services like Porch are helpful with finding user reviewed contractors. Another downside is senior-accessible parts and materials tend to be more expensive because they are typically classified as durable medical equipment.
Assisted Living Facilities
Moving into an assisted living facility is a popular choice for people who can no longer properly take care of themselves. However, it is not an option for people in need of nursing care. An assisted living facility’s objective is to try to preserve the residents’ autonomy while providing them with the additional help. These services include meals, health-related assistance, recreation and constant supervision.
If you sell your home, this move may be permanent. Plus, it usually requires a major downsizing, and assisted living is a form of communal living that takes getting used to.
Whether you decide to buy a senior-accessible home or move into an assisted living facility, you will most likely face the task of downsizing. Being organized will help you successfully deal with the preliminary decluttering task. Start by surveying the new living space and determine the square footage available for your possessions. Next, create a schedule with clean-out dates for each room. Make sure the most cluttered areas get top priority.
Get four huge boxes (which you can buy at Target for $36.49), and label them “sell,” “keep,” “give away” and “throw away.” If you’re not ready to get rid of certain items, place them in temporary storage for the time being. Research various local facilities to determine the right size and price of your unit. In the Dallas area, you may come across some good deals; for example, Life Storage – Dallas on South Good Latimer Expressway offers half off the normal price for one month on select unit sizes. Deciding where to live in your senior years is a tough decision. Take your time, weigh your options, and get input from others who have gone through this phase.