When you decide to age in place, you can either stay in your current home and make modifications as needed or, on the other hand, move to a different home that will be more conducive to your needs as you grow older. How do you decide which is the better option?
Here are several signs that may indicate that it is better to move to a different home:
- Your house is too big.
- Your house has a second floor.
- You live too far away from your loved ones.
- The hospital, clinics, supermarkets, and other essential establishments are too far.
- You want a change of scenery.
- You are no longer comfortable living in your current home.
If you find that moving to a different home will be more ideal for your future of ageing in place, here are several tips that can help you find the right home for you:
Many seniors decide to downsize after they retire, and the main reason for this is because they no longer need all the extra space. With a smaller home, you will be better able to reduce the physical strain of moving around; you can spend more money on more important things; and it will be easier to maintain your home, especially if you want to live independently.
Plan for your final resting place
It may be a grim thought, but everyone should think about where and how they want to be buried or cremated after they pass. Thus, if you want to have an above-ground burial chamber, consider moving somewhere with easy access to the type of burial you want and the location where you want your final resting place to be. Doing so can help make it easier for your loved ones to carry out your final wishes, which, in turn, will help reduce their burden as they mourn.
Move closer to essential places
Moving around will get more and more difficult as you age. With that, it is best to move to a location where all the essential establishments are accessible so that you have to spend less time travelling to places. When looking for a house, consider its distance from:
- The hospital
- The clinics you visit, if there are any
- Food stores
- The gas station
- The pharmacy
- The bank
- The police station and the fire department
Look for a place with a great community
Socialization becomes all the more important after you retire. When you no longer go to work daily or meet up with your loved ones regularly, feelings of isolation and loneliness can easily take over. And as you age in place, it can get harder and harder to connect with people, much less build meaningful relationships with others.
That said, look for a neighbourhood with a great sense of community when choosing a new home. Spend enough time observing the neighbourhood when considering a house, and see if the neighbours greet each other, if children are playing in the streets, and if the local businesses are bustling. You’d want to move to a place where there are plenty of opportunities to socialize as you age, especially one that values its senior members of the community.
Plan for home modifications
When touring a home, see if it can accommodate your needs as you age. For example, the hallways should be big enough to fit a wheelchair in case you ever need one in the future; there should be as minimal steps as possible; the bathroom should be able to accommodate handrails, and so on.
Even if you are fit and healthy today, it is important to think ahead. Here are the possible modifications that you may have to make to your home as you age in place:
- Wheelchair ramps
- Shower seat
- Walk-in bathtub
- Better lighting
Buy a home with an extra room
If you need a caregiver in the future, having a spare bedroom can make a huge difference. With an extra room in the house, you would be able to hire a stay-at-home caregiver or have a family member stay with you for long periods of time. However, you can use the spare room for work, hobbies, fitness, and other purposes until this time.
For many seniors, ageing in place is a great alternative to staying in a nursing home or assisted living facility. If you want to move to a new house for this purpose, keeping these tips in mind can help you find the perfect home that will accommodate all of your needs and plans for the future.