If you’re aging, you probably want to stay in your home as long as possible. And who can blame you? It’s your home after all. It’s comfortable. You’re independent. And you have everything you need.
But staying at home comes with its challenges. The point of this blog post is to attack those challenges head on. I’ll discuss the many ways to combat them. Let’s keep you (or your parents or grandparents) living in the home as long as possible.
The older you get, the more meds you have to take, in general. You can use pill reminders to make this easier. Simply set a timer. There are even some pill boxes you can lock until the time to take them comes. This way you’ll never overdose.
The bathroom can be a dangerous place. Hard surfaces. Water. Being naked and therefore a bit vulnerable. But there are ways to make the space safe.
To start, make sure to use traction mats where possible. These will reduce the chance of you falling. Use one in the shower, just outside the shower, at the sink and wherever else you feel the need. You can find stylish looking ones that will compliment your decor.
Next, consider getting a higher toilet. Just a few inches makes a big difference. It really does.
You can also get decorative grab handles. By the toilet, you can get a handle that also holds the toilet paper. Discreet. You can get a grab handle in the shower that doubles as a soap dispenser. Upon inspection of the bathroom, these add-on’s aren’t even noticeable. This is good both for your style and for the value of the home.
For the kitchen, consider not cooking if it’s become a chore. Instead, get your cooking and grocery shopping done for you. Yes, this is fairly expensive. But it’s cheaper than assisted living. This also means you won’t be running your appliances as much. So you can offset a little of the new bills with spending less on electricity.
What about driving? Yes, no one likes to give up their wheels. But if that time has come, it’s okay. Understand that it’s not safe for you to be driving. That’s perfectly okay! Better to say it outright than to accidentally hurt someone else or yourself. Use a form of public transportation which you have available. Ask around. There are probably many more options than you realize.
Furniture is just the same as the toilet. The higher, the better. Consider buying new furniture that is easy to get into and out of. You can even buy special chairs called lift chairs. They will raise you up and out when you want to leave your seat. And remember that you can sell your old furniture. That’ll offset some of the cost of buying new furniture. My recommendation is to go to a large furniture store where they have many options for older people. They will also have a service that can deliver everything right to your home. How’s that for handy? Many services are even free!
Stairs are no fun when you reach a certain age. There are a few ways you can circumvent this. What my uncle has done is added a bedroom on the main level of his house. This way he can stay in his home even if going up and down stairs becomes too big of a burden. make sure there’s a full bath downstairs as well.
Another option for stairs is a stair chair. One of these isn’t cheap. It’s basically a chair on a lift system that takes you up and down the stairs. It looks a bit like a carnival ride. This chair is for people will pretty serious mobility issues. But it is something to consider if you can’t make a bedroom on the ground floor. And I’m sure the grandkids will love to ride it!
Safety from Others
Are you concerned about home intrusions? Then it may be best to get an alarm system. You can arm such a system and it’ll help deter criminals. If the system ever sense a break in, the police can be called. Many of these systems can be installed at a reasonable price. They aren’t as complicated to operate as you may think. After all, families will small children have such alarms. Don’t worry about messing them up.
One final tip is to remove all the clutter from around the house. Clutter is a tripping hazard. The last thing you want to tell an ER nurse is that you tripped over a pile of magazines from 1972. And it’s also best to pair down your items because you can use that money to help make you home easier to live in. Get rid of old magazines, buy something to help keep you in your home longer. It’s a win-win. I know someone who only has paths to move around their home. This is not how you want to be remembered.
What methods will you institute? How long do you plan to stay in your home?
And most importantly, enjoy your retirement!
Will Lipovsky is a personal finance freelance writer and internet marketer. His most embarrassing moment has been saying to a Microsoft executive, “I’ll just Google it.” You can get in touch with Will at FirstQuarterFinance.com.