Aging In Place Advice for Active Seniors
As a community steeped in knowledge, the information below probably won’t come as a complete shock. However, planning for your real estate future can be daunting so here are some tips from Mike Longsdon.
Age hasn’t slowed you down, and you don’t plan on letting it anytime soon. But, now’s the time to make plans about your future that will ensure you can keep going strong throughout your 70s and beyond. If part of your ideal retirement includes staying in your own home, you have a ton of control and can do things today that will allow you to live safely and comfortably for the long haul. It all starts with a plan.
Your housing strategy
If you’re currently living in a large family home, take the time to consider how it’s floor plan – and equity – may benefit you in the future. If your main living area is separated from your bedroom by stairs, it may be time to readjust your space. If it’s not possible to change things around so you can conduct your day-to-day activities on the same level, it might be wise to consider selling. Not only does this give you an opportunity to purchase a universal designhome, but you may wind up with enough cash in hand to check off your bucket list items, such as travel or helping your grandchildren pay for college.
No matter where you decide to live, there are many easy upgrades you can do to enhance the usability of your space. We’ll touch on those in a moment, but first, it’s important to know that how you treat your body now plays a significant role in your physical abilities and overall health as you age. One of the most pressing concerns for seniors is issues with balance. Poor balance and motor coordination both put you at a greater risk of sustaining an injury during a fall, something that happens to around 30 percent of those in the 65 to 80 age range.Exercising is the easiest way to keep your body strong and able to balance on stairs and uneven ground.
You may find that exercise is less of a hassle if you take an aerobics class or visit the gym with friends. Fortunately, if you have Medicare, you may be able to do this without the added expense of fitness center membership. SilverSneakers, a program designed specifically for Medicare Advantage recipients, is your golden ticket to 13,000+ fitness centers throughout the US. Many of Humana’sMedicare Advantage plans offer this perk and more. If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare plan that does not offer SilverSneakers membership, set a reminder to look at your options during the next enrollment period, which will happen in October.
Home improvements that pay off
Aging in placemay require a few improvements to your current home. One essential modification, according to HomeTipsForWomen.com, is to create a no-step entry. This can be achieved in a few different ways, including adding a ramp over the front steps or by converting a large window into an accessible doorway. Keep in mind that your entryway, along with your interior doors, should be at least 32 inches wide. This falls in line with ADA compliance standards and takes into account maneuvering through a home in a wheelchair or mobility scooter. You will also want to pay special attention to lighting and potential tripping hazards, such as cords running across the floor and loose throw rugs.
The choice is yours
If you decide to relocate, Fidelity Investments explains that age 50+ communities are equipped with the amenities most healthy older adults need to age in place safely. These neighborhoods often come with the added benefits of shared public transportation and engaging community activities. It is possible, however, to remain in your long-time home, but the sooner you evaluate your situation, the more time you will have to put measures in place that will allow you to maintain your independence.
For more information on aging-in-place strategies, financial assistance, and evaluating your needs, visit the Administration for Community Living online at Eldercare.acl.gov.
Fearrington Village in Pittsboro, NC is an ideal community to live in with shops, restaurants, medical facilities and a variety of “neighborhoods” to choose from. Both Sandy Savage and Lisa Skumpija are local experienced Fearrington Village realtors who specialize in listing and selling in the Pittsboro, Chatham County real estate markets.