Accessible Home Modifications:
Changing your Home to Meet Your Changing Needs May Mean Making House Modifications
If you are like the millions of baby boomers over 55, you probably want to remain in your home as you age. You want to live in your community for the rest of your remaining years.
If aging in place is important to you, it’s a decision that should be made as early as possible.
Planning ahead allows you to make necessary home modifications. This will meet your changing needs as you age. Modifications over time, do not need to change the appearance of the home. Modifications to the home are now available to look great to your interior design needs. They do not have an institutional appearance to those changes.
Accessible Home Modifications may help meet your future needs:
Modifying your home by anticipating your future needs. This allows you to gradually prepare your home. You will learn that even small modifications are the keys to aging at home.
More baby boomers will live longer lives. They will become caregivers. This is happening more than any other generation before them.
Aging eventually affects us all physically.
The physical activities we were able to do before such as:
- Taking the stairs
- Standing to cook
- Doing laundry now results in pain and discomfort.
We have a tendency to blame ourselves for the difficulty in performing these daily tasks. It is in fact a part of aging. But in reality the home in which we live making these tasks a struggle. Homes were built for young and growing families.
Contractors, at the time, did not consider that as we age we develop limitations. Limitations such as our ability to use stairs or walkways, turn lights on, etc
The majority of aging seniors delay making any house modifications. They wait until there is a crisis that results in an admission to the hospital.
It is only after an admission to the hospital, they realize the home requires some modifications.
This is often discovered when a person is to be discharged from the hospital. Most aging seniors want to remain in their homes as their health declines.
Planning ahead and preparing for the future should start now. When you realize the way you are functioning now will not be the level you will be functioning at in future years.
Your physical needs and abilities will changes as your body changes. The degeneration of your joints and your ability to reach things or grasp things changes.
Preparing as early as possible for your aging needs will allow you to maintain control of your life. It allows you to age in place successfully. Making house modifications to your home over a period of years can only assist you to age in place. Financing these revisions over a period of time will also increase the market value of your home.
Modifications will also increase the home’s selling potential. These revisions will have already been completed for the new buyer.
Some of these house modification changes may require some assistance
Consider consulting a professional to assist you in your home assessment process. There is information on home modifications specifically for an aging population.
A certified aging in place specialist will evaluate your home. They make recommendations specifically for your changing needs as you age.
Modifications to the home do not mean a complete redesign of your home. It is to make changes that result in promoting your independence. It provides a safe environment in which to live as you age.
If you have a chronic condition, modifications made should address specific areas of the home, to help you remain independent.
This kind of home design is called Universal Design. If you have a chronic condition such as:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory condition
- Eye Sight
- Chronic pain, consider the fact that your mobility may be a factor in the future.
Focus on changes to your home that will allow you to achieve the maximum level of independence. It allows you to stay mobile and gives you freedom.
Being proactive is the best approach planning ahead. Making the necessary changes over time will allow you to successfully age in place.
The goal is to maintain your maximum level of independence in a safe and familiar environment. This will be achieved with a few home modifications.
With forethought and planning, you will have the ability to choose to remain and live in the comfort of your home.
You can be surrounded by familiar people and familiar surroundings.
Having to relocate to a different setting, because the home is no longer suitable for your physical needs, can be avoided. It is important to note that 75% of seniors end up in an institutional setting due to lack of planning.
House modifications are one way of preparing for life at home. Caregiver Relief will offer many other helpful suggestions.