January 17, 2022
According to research, more than 90% of individuals above the age of 50 prefer to age in place. Compared to moving into assisted living or an old age community, aging in place allows seniors the comfort of living in their private space. Additionally, if the property is located close to necessary amenities, it makes catering to their health needs affordable and manageable. If you are planning to follow this trend, this article by Thomas Folden provides you with an all-encompassing checklist of features your ideal retirement home should have.
The first feature to look for is an entrance that provides you with no issues to get in and out. Having an entrance which is level with the road is considered ideal. Having a couple of steps before the door may seem like a small task at the start, however, it can become a challenge in the long run, especially during rainy and snowy conditions. Additionally, for those who use wheelchairs, it’s best to look for homes with pre-built ramps.
Open Floor Plan
An open floor plan allows for ease of mobility around the home as there is minimal or no partition between high-use areas such as the entrance, living room, and kitchen. Additionally, it makes it easier to shuffle furniture and belongings around when needed, making the space multi-functional at will.
Wide Hallways and Doorways
If you currently use a wheelchair, scooter, walker or foresee the need for it in the future, it’s important to look for a home that can accommodate your needs. To allow you the freedom to move around with ease, hallways and doorways will need to be at least 3 feet (36 inches) wide.
Standard doorways are about 2 feet (24 inches) wide. Hence, when visiting the property inquire about the possibility of making them wider or only select homes which have bigger doorways.
This is an area that will be used daily and is one of the common locations for trips and falls among seniors. But, the following features can help reduce the likelihood of unforeseen trips and keep you safe:
Bedroom Design and Location
Walk-in shower with no-slip floor
Grab bars in the shower and beside the toilet
If you choose to buy a 2-level home, ensure that the bedroom is located on the first floor. This will avoid the hassle of climbing stairs each day or the work of relocating them downstairs in the future. Additionally, you will need to install the following features if they aren’t already provided:
Bed with a height between 25-36 inches.
Grab bars beside the bed
Pull-down closet rods
Multiple windows allowing for ample natural light
Whether it be the bathroom, bedroom, or common areas, having slip-resistant flooring is a must for seniors. This type of flooring will reduce the risk of falls tremendously. Common materials for such flooring include cork, linoleum, vinyl, and rubber. Additionally, try to avoid using rugs, prevent loose wires around the home, and keep the floor clean of objects to safeguard yourself from falls.
Affording your Dream Home
Downsizing is a common method used by seniors when buying a home. However, if you do not want to compromise on size, choose to move to a location with lower home prices. For instance, as reported by Redfin the median home price in El Paso, Texas is $210,000, which is much lower than the national average.
Additionally, to get valuable insights on the real estate market and ensure the best buying price, opt to work with an experienced real estate agent such as Thomas Folden.
Overall, the size and type of home you’ll buy will depend on your finances, preference to take on debt, and the location of your choosing.
Now that you have all the required features to look for, you can start the search for the perfect home to age in place.