Staying Home: Tips for Home Improvement

The golden years of retirement are supposed to be a time of relaxation, a time in a person’s life where they can enjoy doing what they love most in the comfort of their home. The truth is, however, there are often physical struggles that get in the way of this. For instance, one might find it harder to move around the house with ease, have difficulty with bathing, or find it harder to cook a nutritious meal by themselves. “It becomes a challenge because we live in Peter Pan houses, designed for people who never grow old,” said Susan Bosak, a social scientist who is overseeing a program to boost intergenerational engagement in Tulsa, Okla. An overwhelming amount of seniors over 50 would rather stay at home according to an article by NBC News. Read the full story here: Aging in place: Most seniors want to stay put. Maybe you’ve discovered that Mom and Dad have been having these issues but would like to stay home for as long as possible. This likely means making some adjustments to the home.

Fortunately, there is a way to make re-modeling happen in a timely, cost-effective manner. Fixr.com suggests that it can take on average $700 to $9000 to remodel a home fit for elderly care, but of course, this varies greatly on the amount of work that needs doing and your location. The re-modeling depends on what type of care you need, as well. For instance, if mobility is an issue, you may consider widening doorways or installing ramps. If vision is an issue, you may consider installing light sensors that turn on when someone enters the room. It may be as simple as installing “grab rods” which on average cost $150. You may find that this is the best option for your parent or a loved one, who may not necessarily need full-time care in a senior living community. It may even be as simple as lowering counter space height from the average 36 inches to 34 so that they are more accessible to wheelchair users.

There is plenty of research to support re-modeling homes for seniors. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 4 American over the age of 65 have fallen while at home. Falls are more likely within homes that do not offer physical supports such as non-slip rugs. Similarly, senior re-modeling is a growing market within the construction field; nearly 7000 contractors in 2002 became certified in remodeling homes for the elderly, and the number is growing every year as the public realizes the many benefits it has to offer. Kris Lindahl Real Estate has created a room by room guide to detail what improvements may be beneficial as well as helpful tips to minimize fall risks and increase accessibility. Full guide can be found here.

With so many options for support from remodeling and home health to senior living, it is important to understand the costs, benefits, and lifestyles these offer. After all, the most important thing is to ensure the comfort and safety of those you love. For recommendations for realtors, repairs, home health, or senior living options in your area, please reach out to a Commonwealth community near you.