Want to stay in your current home as you age? It’s possible but you need to start making plans to make it happen.
It’s safe to say that the majority of boomers, if given to choice, would like to remain in their current home as they age. The idea of downsizing or having to leave your home because of your aging needs is scary. However, that’s why aging in place is something that you need to start thinking about now. Avoiding the subject doesn’t mean the issues resolve themselves. But with proper planning you can successfully age in place. Here’s some important steps to take.
Make an assessment.
We’ve discussed the important first step of determining how prepared your current home is for aging in place. All the decisions that will be made going forward depend on this assessment. You need to consider what your needs might be in the future. Consider the factors we’ve previously laid out. Then take an honest look at your current living situation. How prepared is your home to meet those needs? There’s no sense in sugar-coating or denying the reality of the situation. The more you can identify problem areas the better you’ll be at addressing them.
Factor in finances.
Once your home is assessed and the issues are identified, it’s time to determine how you can make the necessary changes. Of course, this is where the money factor comes in to play. In many cases, the renovations and changes needed to make a home appropriate for aging in place are somewhat significant. It might not be a total remodel of your home, but it could very well be expensive. This is where tough decisions might have to be made based on your financial situation. Are there changes you need to make to your retirement plan? How much do you need to save? You may find that downsizing to a smaller home makes financial sense. But know your financial needs before any big decisions are made.
Make necessary changes.
Finally, it comes time to actually address the changes that need to be made. If you have decided to stay in your current home, make those updates that allow you to continue living in comfort and safety. Remember, this does not just include how easily you can get up and down the stairs. Think about the community you live in, the accessibility of your home, your proximity to medical care. You also have to consider the year-round implications. What struggles will winter bring? How will the lawn be maintained in summer? Also, your support system and its importance cannot be overemphasized. Who can you call on for assistance when need? Again, these issues are only resolved when they are properly addressed. Don’t let the stress of the situation prevent you for preparing to age on your own terms.