Would you like to remain in your own home as you grow older?  According to the AARP, that is a desire for many older Americans.  If this is a goal you have in mind, it’s in your best interest to do some planning and preparing.  


Examine your home

Is your living environment one that could support you as you grow older?  Most traditionally designed homes aren’t structured in a manner conducive to aging in place.  For example, you want a home that allows you to live on one level, has an open floor plan, and has at least one no-step entryway.  Wider than standard doorways and hallways are also helpful, and you should have wide windows to allow in abundant natural light. You can use this checklist from 2020 Spaces to examine your home and see how closely it fits aging in place criteria.  This step can also help you determine if you would be better off downsizing or if it’s time to make plans for home modifications.  


Hone in on the bath

Bathrooms deserve extra attention when examining your home environment, as they can be one of the most challenging rooms for senior safety.  It’s a room fraught with hazards, between the slippery surfaces, water, and soap, and as a result, seniors are at high risk for bathroom-related falls.  Thankfully, there are several changes you can make to help lower your risk.  Refinishing your tile so it’s less slick, as well as adding a shower chair and replacing your toilet with a senior-friendly version.  Also consider installing grab bars, and a zero-entry shower or walk-in tub.   


Some easy changes

Certain aspects of traditional homes that can make aging in place challenging are relatively easy to work around.  For instance, if the primary entryway to your home requires climbing steps, you can have a ramp installed to make it easier to come and go.  Similarly, doorways can be widened, and round door knobs can be replaced with lever-style handles.  If your current living arrangement is spread between multiple floors, consider revamping a dining area or office space to become a bedroom.  Turning a bathroom into a bathroom and laundry combination can help get things onto one floor as well, or consider installing a washer and dryer in a closet.  If you decide you need to hire help with your remodel, Forbes recommends finding a contractor who specializes in aging in place.  


Add some gadgetry

While sometimes seniors are intimidated by it, smart home technology can be a boon to those wishing to age in place.  There are unobtrusive wearable monitors that call for help if something is awry, lights that come on when you enter a room, and devices to remind you about taking medications.  There are also tech tools that ease communication with your loved ones, such as social media, video conferencing, and email.  If you don’t feel savvy enough, there are special classes seniors can take to get more comfortable with whatever gadgetry they are using.  


Beyond your home

In addition to making changes to your living environment, there are other choices that could influence whether you age in place comfortably.  Exercising to maintain your strength, flexibility, and balance can make a big impact in your ability to stay upright if you get off-kilter. Yoga can be an ideal exercise regimen for seniors who wish to age in place, since it helps build muscles and encourages improved balance and flexibility.  If you prefer to mix things up, another idea is to do a varied exercise regimen, focusing part of your time on strength training, part on cardio, and part on stretching.  Find a routine you enjoy doing, and stick with it!


Do you hope to age in place?  Take a look at your home and your life, and decide if some changes are in order.  With some planning and preparation, you can stay in your home, enjoying comfort, safety, and support for years to come.


Image courtesy of Pixabay



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Finding the right home can be the key to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life as you grow older, and for most seniors, that includes downsizing to a more manageable property. It’s also a chance to rethink your lifestyle. Here is essential advice for making the transition in a way that encourages a great quality of life throughout your golden years.  


The Wisdom of Downsizing


Downsizing is a popular movement for many important reasons, and for seniors, it can make especially good sense. Having a home that is more than you need, or more than you want to tend, can be a drain on your money and energy. As HomeAdvisor explains, “Having fewer financial- and maintenance-related responsibilities will allow you to focus more on your happiness and less on your home,” making downsizing ideal for your golden years. Weigh what your priorities are for your future. Are you ready to spend more time with your grandchildren? Do the golf links call your name? Would you like to be within walking distance of parks, groceries, public transportation, or the farmers market? Now is your chance to reframe your life in a manner that will be satisfying, safe, and fun.


Cutting Clutter


Moving into a smaller home means you will have less space for belongings. Paring down tends to be a time-consuming task, so the sooner you start, the better. Go through your home, area by area, and declutter. Try starting with items you have duplicates of, and keep your favorites or the newest of those particular items. Sort everything into piles of things that you intend to keep, those you will sell or rehome, and items better off recycled or discarded. You can even take the opportunity to start packing the keepers.


Do Some Pruning


Editing furniture can be especially challenging, particularly if you have large, overstuffed selections to contend with, or you aren’t sure what will fit in the new place. Once you decide on a property, one idea is to take measurements of the rooms and make some sketches of how you can lay out the pieces. Move things around so you can find solutions, and bear in mind that you can always sell things that won’t work and use the funds toward new furniture.   


Future-Focused


Selecting the right property for your golden years can be a challenge, and most seniors want to remain in their homes as they grow older. With that in mind, it’s smart to search for an abode that is conducive to aging in place. A one-story home is ideal. If you don’t want to mess with a lot of modifications, you should search for a house that offers at least one stairless entryway. Ample windows provide good light, an open floor plan eases navigation, and wide hallways and doorways are also ideal in the event you need an assistive device. Some desirable features are simple modifications, such as lever-style handles on doors and faucets, as well as grab bars in bathrooms. As you evaluate properties, you can use a printable aging-in-place design checklist to help you determine how well a home will suit your needs.  


Packing and Moving


Boxing up all your belongings and getting them loaded, unloaded, and unpacked is a major undertaking. To streamline your efforts, the Frugal Girls suggests assembling boxes in uniform sizes so they are easier to stack and maneuver. However, be sure not to pack heavy items in large boxes, and save those for bulky but lightweight items, such as bed linens. Think creatively and make use of empty spaces, such as packing your herbs and spices inside of cookery. One recommendation is to hire some help. This could be a professional moving company, though many seniors opt to employ a senior move manager. It alleviates a lot of headaches since they can organize as much or as little of the move as you want.  


Finding the perfect place for your golden years is a challenge, but the transition is a healthy choice. Look for a property that will be enjoyable and supportive as you grow older. With smart decision-making, you can find a place that helps you thrive in your golden years.  

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You’re at work when the thought hits you, “Did I lock the door when I left this morning?” You check your smartphone, see that you didn’t, and click the “LOCK” button. Now your house is secure. That’s home automation for you!

 

But, is home automation a good idea? That depends on a number of

factors.

 

On the pro side, home automation can improve your quality of life. There are automation products that will adjust heating/cooling depending on whether or not you’re home, make your morning coffee when you get out of bed, and the list goes on and on. These conveniences save you time. Home automation can also give you peace-of-mind. It’s comforting to be able to remotely see the inside of your home and check that everything’s okay.

 

Home automation can also make your property more appealing to buyers. Traditionally, buyers like homes with security systems, and will appreciate other automation gizmos, too.

 

The only downside is the cost. Like most new technology, home automation products can be pricey and may become out-of-date within just a few years.

 

Thinking about it? Experts advise you to do your research first. Check out product reviews online. Then, if you determine that a particular product is going to benefit you, go for it!

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