Best home modifications for aging in place and how to finance them
As we age, it’s only natural that the changes to our physical environment should accompany us. Modifying a home for aging in place can help ensure that you have an enjoyable lifestyle and that all of your daily needs are met, regardless of mobility challenges or health conditions.
Not only can designing a space conducive to living well support one’s quality of life as they move through later decades, but there are also numerous financial resources available today to assist with affording these sorts of improvements.
Read on for some great ideas on how to modify your home for aging in place and what strategies you can utilize when financing them.
Financing options for modifying your home as you age
One of the most popular financing options if you’re looking to modify your home as you age is through a reverse mortgage. This type of mortgage allows borrowers to access the equity in their homes without having to make regular payments; instead, they are only required to pay back the loan when they sell their home or pass away. The funds from a reverse mortgage can be used for remodeling, repairs, and other modifications to make your home more suitable for aging in place.
So, how to apply for a reverse mortgage loan? In general, you’ll need to meet certain requirements, such as having a minimum amount of home equity and living in the property for at least 12 months. You will also be required to receive counseling from a HUD-approved counselor before filing an application. From there, lenders will assess your current financial situation and house value before providing an offer. Always make sure to consult with a professional and determine the right financing option for your case.
Install grab bars in the bathroom for extra support when entering and exiting the shower
For many people, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous areas in the house. Wet floors and slick tiles make it easy to slip and fall, particularly when getting in and out of the shower. That’s why having grab bars is so important. Installing grab bars in your bathroom can provide extra support and stability for those who need a bit of extra help while bathing or using the toilet.
The best part is—Installing grab bars is a relatively easy and inexpensive process that can make a big difference in terms of overall safety in the home. So, why not take the proactive approach and install some grab bars in your bathroom right away?
Invest in a stair lift or ramp to make navigating multiple stories easier
For those with mobility issues, navigating multiple levels of a home can be a daily struggle. Whether it’s due to age, injury, or disability, ascending and descending stairs can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there is a solution—investing in a stair lift or ramp. Not only do these devices make traveling between floors easier, but they also provide a newfound independence and a sense of freedom.
Install lever-style door handles
Opening doors with traditional knobs can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you have your hands full or have limited mobility. That’s where the lever-style door handles come in handy. These clever devices can be installed to make opening doors as easy as can be, with just one hand.
Even if you have your arms full of groceries, you can effortlessly use your free hand to open the door. And installing these handles is easier than you might think! A quick change of the hardware can make a big difference in your daily life.
Replace existing flooring with non-slip materials
Approximately 3 million seniors receive emergency treatment for fall injuries every year. In fact, one in five falls results in an injury like a broken bone or head injury. To minimize the chance of accidents, one useful approach is to swap slippery floors for non-slip floorings like tile, vinyl, or rubber.
These materials are designed to provide more traction underfoot, whether you’re walking on a wet surface or simply have shoes with less grip. And while they offer improved safety benefits, they don’t have to come at the expense of style. With a wide range of colors, patterns, and textures available, you can find a flooring option that both looks great and keeps you and your loved ones safe.
Ultimately, home modifications allow aging in place to be far easier and smoother than ever before, allowing seniors to enjoy their homes and spend time doing the things they love without fear of risking their safety or well-being.
No matter if it’s a grab bar in the shower or changing your floorings, you should feel confident that you have every option at your disposal while aging in place. A little bit of planning and research may take some work up front but it’ll save you lots of hassle down the line as you pursue a comfortable lifestyle as an elderly homeowner.