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Weighing Your Options for Senior Home Care

by: Harry Kline | |

The New Caregiver’s Comprehensive Resource: Advice, Tips, and Solutions from Around the Web

After retirement, you will have more time on your hands than ever before. You’ll be free from work and have plenty of opportunities to see family and friends, and engage in your favorite hobbies—all aspects that make for a happy retirement. You don’t want to waste this precious time dealing with the stress of moving. Assessing your senior home care options now allows you to prepare for the future. Here are three possibilities to consider.

Transform your current home

Aging in place has become increasingly popular in recent years, with the majority of adults over 65 preferring to stay in their original home. Thanks to modern technologies like medical alert systems, this option is safer than ever. If you live alone, you might consider getting senior roommates (another growing trend among older adults). This allows you to enjoy company at home and also brings in some extra money that can help with home maintenance costs.

If you do decide to stay in your house, senior-friendly renovations can make it safer and more practical. The bathroom, which is a prime spot for falls due to wet and slippery floors, is a good starting point. Home Stratosphererecommends raising the height of the toilet (since standing up gets tougher with age). Also consider adding grab bars and no-slip mats—the latter of which you can buy on Amazon for less than $15. The kitchen is another commonly used room to tackle: Consider installing pull-out pantries and placing appliances like microwaves at waist level to avoid having to reach up high.

Moving to a new home

The costs needed to renovate your home can quickly add up, and if you aren’t set on staying for sentimental reasons, buying a new place that is already amenable to aging might make more sense. See what’s feasible financially by researching statistics in your area’s housing market, such as the average down payment. You should also be looking at sale costs to give you an idea of how much you might be able to sell your property for. For instance, the current average sale price for homes in Columbia is $143,000.

If you’re planning to downsize, you can also research the average cost to buy a smaller home. Look for single-story models that nix the need for climbing stairs, which can prove problematic if you need a wheelchair or walker down the line. Downsizing also means you’ll need to expend less effort on household tasks like cleaning and gardening. This can be a welcomed boon as people naturally lose muscle mass with age, making everyday chores more of a challenge. When reviewing prices, keep in mind that you will need to make a down payment; usually usually 20 percent of the total price is advisable.

Transition to assisted living

Yet another option is to move to an assisted living community. These facilities allow you to retain your independence in a room or small apartment of your own while still enjoying the closeness of a senior community around you. This can prove invaluable in staving off loneliness, which is reported to affect one in three seniors in America and is responsible for causing health problems like depression. Assisted living may also be preferable if you would like regular support with tasks like cooking and cleaning.

When considering the above senior home care possibilities, budget is one factor. Each option has pros and cons: You can stay in your house but will have to pay to renovate it; you can buy a senior-friendly home but need to make a down payment; and if you move to assisted living you can sell all your real estate but need to make sure you can afford the monthly fees. Beyond this, your comfort is paramount. Whatever you choose, you want to feel at ease. Take the time to assess these pros and cons, and visit options in person before deciding.

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