Smart Tips For Downsizing Seniors
Paving a Path for Seniors to Transition to a Smaller Home
At sometime or another, most seniors realize the need for more accessible accomodations. Often, this means a smaller home with fewer obstacles, such as stairs and small bathrooms. Other times, however, alternative options must be considered. Here, we explore senior housing choices and how to prevent taking a wrong turn on the road to downsizing.
The first consideration when discussing senior housing options is your or your senior loved one’s abilities. If you’re in overall good health, moving to a smaller home is an excellent option that can allow you to remain independent. When looking for a new accessible house or condo, look for the following:
- Single-story living– kitchen, bath, and bedroom all on the same level (single-story properties are also more affordable if your loved one decides to build)
- Consistent flooring– transition from one room to the next should be seamless
- No-step entryway– if steps are present, assess the practicality of installing a wheelchair ramp
- Proximity to services– healthcare, public transportation, and social opportunities are essential for seniors
Make a point to interview multiple real estate agents. You will find that some have more experience with senior transitions than others. Further, and of special importance when moving as an older adult, ensure that your agent is familiar with the local area. Make sure they are fully aware of any special needs. This will help them thin out the options, which can make the house-hunting journey a more pleasant experience for everyone.
When a new home is not the answer
While autonomy and independence are admirable goals, it is not always possible. Family Assets explains that when making a decision about seniors living alone, safety is a priority. Dementia is a concern as are mobility issues and a family history of either. When these types of possibilities are on the horizon, it may be a wiser choice to consider assisted living.
Assisted living offers many of the same freedoms as moving into a smaller home. However, you or your senior loved one will have around-the-clock access to care and emergency services as well as a helping hand taking medications, getting back and forth to doctors appointments, and other necessities. Keep in mind, though, that not all care facilities are the same, and you will need to practice due diligence when researching locations. When budget is a concern, you will want to ensure that your getting the most value out of your Social Security or retirement income.
Most of assisted living campuses in Cincinnati range in price from $1,500 to $11,000 per month. By researching amenities and verifying what is included in their monthly rental fees, you can make sure you get the most benefits from your new home.
Choosing between living in a private residence and moving into assisted living is a difficult choice. If you’re making the decision for a senior loved one, it’s always helpful to begin conversations with your senior parent or grandparent well in advance. You might find that they are more open to exploring either option once they have a better understanding of the pros and cons of each.
Living independently has its benefits. Your loved one will be more in control of the bills and can pick and choose who they have to visit and when. It also offers considerably more privacy, which may be of interest to single seniors who are opposed to sharing their space. However, those with health conditions or who are unable to drive (and cannot afford daily in-home assistance) may find a private home a lonely and isolating place.
Assisted living is not without its negatives either, and seniors may feel as though accepting assistance means giving up their individuality. You can waylay some of these concerns by pointing out all of the freedoms that assisted living offers, such as worry-free transportation, daily social opportunities, and very little chance of missed medications or poor nutrition.
There is no one choice makes sense for every person. If you or your loved one are unsure which option is best, their primary healthcare provider may be able to offer advice. By evaluating their mental and physical condition, their doctor can be the voice of reason when independent living is necessary or can provide reassurance to you that your loved one can thrive on their own.
Written by Seth Murphy
- Tips For Buying The Perfect Retirement Home – This article has some great tips for those seeking out the perfect retirement home to live in during the golden years.
- Home Downsizing Tips – this article provides a handy list of steps to take to make sure downsizing is done right.
- Should I Sell My Home Before I Buy Another One? This article looks at whether it makes sense to sell a home prior to buying the next one.