Aging in Place, Can I Stay in My Home?  You say Yes?

Is it time to make some decisions regarding your next step in housing?  One of the things to consider is the possibility of aging in place.  Before you choose to stay in your home and make improvements to allow you to do so, you should consider the following questions.

If your current home shows well in all the preceding article categories, you may wish to make changes to your home to stay there.  If handicap accessibility is required here are a few things to consider:

 

  • Is there high-speed internet access?  Internet access and cable tv enhance quality of life.  Internet keeps you up on family and friend’s activities and allows for easy communication.
  • Is the washer and dryer in the home/unit accessible by wheelchair?  Front loading units improve the ease of use.
  • Are the windows easy to open?  Can they be opened and closed from a wheelchair?
  • Are the climate controls within reach?  Moving the furnace and A/C controls to a lower level on the wall makes for easy use.
  • Is the Master Bedroom on the main level of the home?  Stairs can be dangerous.  If you need to access an upper level bedroom, add a chair lift.
  • Is the garage attached?  Going outside allows for an increase in the possibility of weather related falls.
  • Are you able to access the patio or back porch (can you make alterations)?
  • Is the bathroom large enough to support wheel chair use, can it be adapted for handicap use?
  • Who will you hire for the yard and home maintenance?  Check with other home owners some yard maintenance companies do wonderful, others leave a lot to be desired.
  • You will need non-slip flooring, large medicine cabinets, and lower kitchen cabinets.  Changing out your kitchen cabinets can be costly, something to consider is having the current upper cabinets lowered to a more manageable height and having the door removed to promote easy access.  Retractable shelving may also be an option.
  • Is the Master bedroom on the main level large enough to support wheelchair use?  If not can you downsize your bed to accommodate the wheelchair.
  • Declutter the home to prevent accidental tripping and falls.  Decluttering is a hard thing to do for some people, storing away, giving away, or selling family treasures, collections, and pictures often causes stress.  If you just don’t know where to start, contact an expert.  They will help you to decide what to store/remove/sell and what just cannot go.  They will help you to reorganize your home to remove potential tripping hazards and to sell or distribute to family the treasures you have acclimated throughout your life.