Go Beyond Aging in Place and Age in Your Community Instead

By: Hazel Bridges

Seniors today are living longer, healthier, and more active lives. As such, we tend to want to stay in our own homes or communities so that we can continue to enjoy the life that we’ve grown accustomed to. But with age often comes some need for support. In today’s Hometown Mentors blog, we touch base on a few ways to safely age in the place we call home.

Staying at Home

There are many reasons to stay in a home that you’ve lived in for many years. One of these is cost. You already own it, and, if it’s paid off, it makes sense to avoid taking on an unnecessary mortgage. However, there are a few things you might want to consider to create a safe space that will grow with you.

First, consider home modifications that might make life easier. Small steps, such as installing lever door handles or a hands-free faucet can compensate for arthritis. Bigger modifications, like replacing carpeting with hardwood and installing a whole-home security, will also have a significant impact on your safety. Contact your local senior center for recommendations on a local aging-in-place specialist that can help you evaluate your current home so that you can put a plan in place for making renovations.

If you do still have a mortgage and want to stay in your home but also want to combat loneliness, you might take on a roommate. SeniorResource.com explains that there are many benefits of taking on a senior roommate. These include saving money, enhancing your independence, and having someone available in case of an emergency.

No matter your living situation, you’ll also want to have a network of people and services that make up your personal village. Even if you do not need assistance all the time, knowing where you can get a healthy meal, help with chores, or transportation will help you and your loved ones feel more comfortable if you choose to live outside of independent or assisted living.

Your New Life Awaits

Staying in your community doesn’t mean you have to live in your current home. Sometimes, our homes need more maintenance than we want to to deal with while we’re trying to enjoy our golden years. When your home has too much space or is too hands-on for your liking, it might be time to sell your home to find something a bit smaller and less needy.

Selling your home as a senior is a good idea, particularly if you have plenty of equity. You can look online to find out how much you can expect to get for your current property. In many cases, you may get enough cash at closing to outright cover the cost of moving into a smaller home. But, what type of home should you choose? For most seniors, a ranch-style house with a small yard, a condo, or a senior-oriented community are great options. According to Senior Lifestyle, settling down in a senior community may be cost-effective while providing you a safer and healthier living environment. Plus, you’ll enjoy more independence as well as amenities, such as a swimming pool or community clubhouse, that help you stay active.

There are certainly challenges that come along with gray hair and wrinkled hands. But today, 70 is the new 40, and we can stay active and engaged at home and in our communities for much longer than our parents and grandparents. With a little bit of research and planning, you can make the most of your retirement years no matter where you want to live.

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