As a senior, moving to a new home can be tough. Not only does it present more physical challenges, but finding a home with the right features can be difficult. In order to maintain independence as long as possible, it is important to focus on both current and future needs when making decisions. Here are some tips for finding a home with the right accessibility features and making the move without feeling helpless.
Understanding Your Needs
Knowing why you are moving and what your needs are in a new home is the first challenge to tackle. Many people choose not to move if their current home can be made to meet their needs economically. For some, though, it might be the location of the existing home that is the problem, or the cost to repair or upgrade it with the accessibility items that are needed is cost prohibitive. It may be as simple as determining that there isn’t sufficient space to install a ramp or a stair lift, or it could be as complex as needing a new climate to maintain optimal health. Working together with family, your physician, and your financial advisor or legal counsel to identify all of your needs and assess your means is important.
Consider Independent Living Communituies
If you need to downsize your home to something more practical but aren’t ready for a full-time care facility, consider a community that can adapt to your needs as they change. Living in an apartment or townhome designed for retirees will ensure that expensive renovations aren’t needed later. Many of these communities now implement sophisticated smart home features with seniors in mind, including lighting, appliances, and thermostats that can be controlled from mobile devices, a great advantage for seniors with limited mobility. Having neighbors with similar interests and schedules will help make the transition to your new home easier, and many communities have regularly-planned activities that residents can choose to participate in. These types of communities include those with HOAs that restrict homeownership to only retirees, and those with a full-time care staff that helps seniors with physical or memory issues remain as independent as possible without exposing them to dangerous situations.
Consult with Family
Seniors who are moving to a new home should discuss their decision with their family members. This allows them to make a choice that allows the best option for them as they continue to age, but also one that doesn’t leave a huge burden for their next of kin once they are gone. Some seniors consider reverse mortgages or other types of financial arrangements to help them make the most of their retirement or assist with medical bills and other needs. While this can be a good option for some, it is extremely important to consult with close relatives or legal counsel to ensure the arrangement is appropriate for you and that everyone understands the terms.
Move with ease
Packing and hauling is exhausting at any age. Rather than risking injury or relying on the spare time of family and friends, seniors should consider hiring a professional service to do the job for them. Be sure to compare prices, and read reviews. Reputable movers are trained and insured, and can help you avoid potentially being taken advantage of by scammers and crooks who may target seniors. This is also a good time to downsize your personal belongings, potentially giving some important family items to younger relatives and donating anything you can’t use anymore. While you are at it, hiring a service to perform a one-time cleaning can help get your home into shape to sell or help you get your cleaning deposit back if you rent. Both professional services are relatively economical, and will save you a great deal of painstaking work.
Moving is an important decision in anyone’s life. When deciding to move as a senior, it is important to understand the reason for the move and what needs must be met. It is necessary to considering the type of living arrangement that will work best for you now and in the future to help you make the best decision. Once you have selected a new home, consider hiring professionals to help with the packing and cleaning efforts so you can focus on enjoying your new home.
Article Submitted (2019) By:
Janet Campbell is the writer of this article and creator of ElderSpark. Her mission is to encourage people of all ages to live their healthiest and happiest lives ever. She strives to provide information on senior wellness and safety as well as ideas for how to make the most of this beautiful chapter of our lives.