Aging in place is defined as staying in your home as you get older rather than moving in with family or moving to an assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility. Many people feel strongly about remaining in their own homes as long as possible, but the best way to make that happen is by planning ahead.

Of course, it’s difficult to plan too far in advance as we don’t know how our abilities and needs may change over the years. But one thing we do know is that physical renovations to the home will come with a cost.¬†For instance, renovating a home for a person using a wheelchair will often require widening doorways, adding ramps for front/back steps, adding grab bars in the bathroom and lowering shelving/storage, among other things. A full bathroom re-model could easily hit five figures.

Handling such a renovation on the fixed income of retirement could be challenging for many seniors, which is why it is critical to consider these costs early on. While you are still working, look around your home and see what would need to change as you get older. Are all of the bedrooms on the second floor? Could the house be navigated easily with a walker or wheelchair? Next, if you wish to remain in this particular home long-term, think about how much it would cost to make the home more user-friendly as you age. Consider setting some money aside and earmarking it for future renovations.

In addition to making the home more user-friendly, think about other assistance you might need one. If you cannot drive, how will you get groceries? Even with renovations, it may be difficult to do certain chores such as laundry and vacuuming. The good news is that there are quite a few options for assistance. Family or friends might be willing to pitch in with chores. Groceries and other items can be ordered online and delivered to the home. Home health agencies can send attendants to help with anything from bathing to bathing and getting dressed to managing medicine.

Seniors with fewer financial resources can tap into some great programs as well. Community Attendant Services – a program offered through Texas Health and Human Services – provides low-income seniors with a non-medical aide for a certain number of hours per week to help with the person’s daily needs. (The number of hours is determined by an in-home assessment.) Meals on Wheels can deliver food to seniors who might struggle to prepare nutritious meals on their own.

The bottom line is that successful aging in place requires planning ahead of time. Contact Balmos Law today to discuss your options to age in place and to develop your plan.

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