Assessing Your Options When Deciding on Senior Home Care - by Lucille Rosetti @ The Bereaved
Running out of funds is the primary concern for older people as they prepare for the next phase of life, according to the Journal of Accountancy. Preparing a suitable home for your later years is just as important as financial matters, though. You need a property that you can afford and that can accommodate your changing physical abilities. Thankfully, there are many ways to tailor senior home care to suit your needs.
Move to a new home
Many seniors opt to downsize with their golden years in mind. Maybe you aren’t particularly attached to your current house or perhaps you want to move (e.g., to be nearer to your grandchildren, or from a chilly climate to a warmer one). In such cases, selling your property and buying a new piece of real estate is a worthwhile option. Downsizing to a smaller househas benefits, sparing you the tedious upkeep required for larger spaces, and potentially saving you money as well, such as reduced utilities and property taxes.
Before you make any major real estate decisions, however, learn more about the market. Check local sales listings in your area, as these will give you an idea of what you can expect to sell your home for, as well as how much to set aside for a down payment if you’re buying a new one. It’s also important to know if you’re required to pay a down payment; if you’re looking into PennyMac VA loans, for example, you aren’t required to make one. Make comparisons with your home’s value in order to know what you can afford.
Stay at home
USA Today notes the vast majority of seniors prefer to stay in their current homes as they get older. This is understandable, since you have connections formed with neighbors and friends nearby, and likely have a sentimental attachment to the house in which you raised your family. While it’s perfectly fine to stay in your current house, beware that renovations may be needed to allow for your future safety, comfort, and independence.
With that in mind, think about some of the most common senior-friendly renovations. For instance, changes to the kitchen could include creating storage options that don’t require lifting, while bathroom improvements might involve things like adding grab bars (grab bar installation averages $140). Such adjustments accommodate weaker muscles and help to prevent slips and falls. You may also need to make changes to accommodate mobility devices like wheelchairs, such as adding a stairlift.
You can also improve accessibility around the house by removing any larger items that you no longer need. If it’s something you no longer wish to keep, consider donating the item or selling it to a secondhand shop. However, if you want to keep these larger items, you can move them into a self-storage unit to keep them safe and secure. Just keep in mind that doing so will require an added monthly expense; in Sacramento, you can expect to pay around $106 per month for a unit, though you could pay more if you require a larger space.
Make yourself at home in an assisted living facility
If you find yourself struggling with activities of daily living, such as washing, eating, and getting in and out of bed, an assisted living facility may be the best option for you. There is staff to help you with the basics, and you can still enjoy an independent lifestyle. What’s more, it’s a great option if you’re in need of some company. These built-in communities typically offer structured social events, encouraging seniors who might otherwise be prone toisolation and depression to get out and be active.
Before moving to assisted living, make sure you will have enough money to cover the monthly fees. Some statistics indicate that in 2015, the average monthly fee for an assisted living facility was $3,600. Will the sale of your home cover this? Do you have other funds like a pension or veteran’s benefits to help? If you’re unsure, consider discussing your particulars with a financial advisor.
What to consider when making your choice
When thinking about the above options, there are multiple factors to take into account. Weigh the financial issues as well as the emotional ties. You want to make sure you are happy with whatever senior home care option you settle on. These are your golden years, and you deserve to enjoy them.
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