Know Your Options for Aging in Place Safely and Happily

Accepting the fact that you’re getting older and will need to start making some changes can be emotionally trying. What most of us want more than anything is to live independently for as long as possible, which leads many seniors to choose to age in place. If this is how you envision spending your senior years, it’s important to explore your options to make sure you can age in place safely and without sacrificing your emotional well-being.


Making Your Home More Accessible


Before deciding to stay in your current home, you should start by going through your home and doing a thorough safety check. It’s easy to overlook things in the space where you’re used to living day and in and day out, so ask an adult child or friend to help you. Write down everything you think of, and consult this checklist from the National Council on Aging so nothing is missed. Even if you are in good health now, you should also consider how you would get around at home if you needed a walker or had loss of vision or hearing later in life.


As you’re doing the assessment, keep in mind that the biggest safety concern as you age is falling. Every year, over one third of seniors over the age of 65 experience a falling incident. Therefore, fall prevention is an important measure for seniors who want to age in place. Once you’ve addressed the need to create a safer home, think about what modifications need to be made. The following suggestions are some of the easiest accessibility modifications that help eliminate the most potential for falling injury:


  • Slip-resistant flooring – Choosing the right flooring can make a big difference in reducing the risk of falling. There are pros and cons to all types of flooring; carpet is soft and slip-resistant, but it can be hard to clean, while vinyl and linoleum are great slip-resistant surfaces that are easy to clean, but they’re less cushiony. However, the main types of flooring you should avoid, according to The Spruce, are natural stone, tile, and area rugs. Stone and tile can be slippery when wet and are very hard, potentially causing more harm if you do ever fall.


  • Bathroom safety – You want your bathroom to be easily accessible and to have safety features to prevent falls around water. Installing a curbless walk-in shower is the best way to accommodate a variety of needs. Even if you don’t do a full-scale bathroom remodel, you can install grab bars and add anti-slip mats.


  • Safe entryway – Steps are a major tripping hazard, so it’s a good idea to install a ramp with handrails and lighting. A step-free entry is not only easier and safer, it’s ideal for use with a walker or wheelchair too.


Knowing All Your Options


Aside from safety and accessibility, consider everything else that goes along with staying in your house before deciding to age in place. Of course, you need to be safe, but your emotional health is just as important. While home will always feel like home, think about whether you have social support and easy access to activities you like to do, places to shop, and the opportunity to get outdoors and exercise. If your home isn’t in a location that meets these needs, you may be happier moving to a new home.


You may also decide that making modifications isn’t an option and that you would be safer moving to a home that is already accessible. Many newer homes feature universal design and will already have what you need. Create a checklist of what you’re looking for to use as a guide during your home search. You can also use online filters to search for accessible homes for sale in your area.


Deciding to move may feel like you’re giving up home, but moving to a new place that’s more accessible now gives you the chance to make it yours. Home is where the heart is, after all, and even a new home will have all the comforts you know and love. Either way, exploring all your options is the best way to make the choice that’s right for you.

By: Mike Longsdon


Broker/Realtor/Investor/Mentor (41 years experience) Specialties: Buyer's Agent, Listing Agent, Foreclosure, Short-Sale, Property Management, Landlord I'm a Full Time Real Estate Professional, house flipper and mentor to many of my clients. I am here to help you get top dollar for your home or get you the best price for a home that you are going to live in. I have over 40 years of real estate experience for you to draw on and actively list and sell over 20 homes a year. I have sold over 600+ homes in the last ten years alone. I am a very skillful negotiator and will work diligently to help you realize the best possible price when buying or selling your home. With my Exclusive Home Acquisition & Sales System, I can find the Right Home for You! I have access to homes no other Realtor will show you. I can show you how to save an average of $10,000.00 on the purchase price. We will find a home that fits your needs, in a neighborhood that suits your style. If you are selling your home then I can bring all the professionals to you. I always include professional photos in ALL my listings. I have contractors standing by to assist with those upgrades if needed. I can also quickly get you ALL CASH offers for your home if you desire. My marketing surpasses all other agents. It begins with extensive internet advertising to hundreds of websites throughout the world. I do direct mail marketing for you home and also knock on doors in your neighborhood when I am holding an open house. I hold you home open to expose it to as many buyers as possible. My Exclusive program is designed to sell your home for Top Dollar in Any market. I am an experienced flipper here in Orange County and therefore can offer you my over 40 years of real estate experience. The information is available to you at no charge! If you like what you see, please call me and setup Your Free Consultation.

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