It’s no secret that many of us have the desire to stay in our homes as we age, in fact, in 2018 AARP conducted their Home and Community Preferences Study and found that almost 80% of adults age 50 and over want to remain in their communities and/or homes as they age. The percentage has risen even higher since the Covid-19 Pandemic began in 2020 and we learned how much safer we all are in our own homes.
In addition to being safe from current and future pandemics, there are many other benefits that make a very appealing case for staying in your home. Staying in your home allows you to maintain your independence and privacy which enables you to enjoy and access your hobbies and interests at your leisure and you can visit with friends and family on your terms. Many of us have invested so much into our homes, created memories, and have forged deep social connections within our communities, that the thought of leaving can be quite overwhelming and upsetting.
So what can prevent us from being able to enjoy our retirement years in the comfort and familiarity of our own homes? A FALL.
“Every second of the day, an older adult (65+) suffers a fall in the U.S.- making falls the leading cause of injury and injury death in this age group”.According to the CDC
A fall can dramatically limit your options and impact your ability to stay in your home. Although, taking a proactive stance, planning ahead, and making the necessary changes (or modifications) to your home will lessen your risk of falling and will dramatically increase your ability to stay in your home.
Instead of burying your head in the sand and proclaiming “I’m not that old yet”; plan ahead! So when should you begin planning for your future? Here are some events or triggers that can spark the conversation:
Once you have begun the process the next step is to assess your home, with your needs and limitations in mind to uncover what modifications (or changes) need to be made to make your home safer, reduce the risk of falls, and more comfortable for you to live in as you age and your needs progress. AARP recommends that you have a Certified Aging in Place Specialist assess your home to identify potential risks, barriers and recommend modifications. If you decide to manage this yourself and hire a contractor- be absolutely sure you have done your research and have identified what modifications you need to make specifically; most general contractors do not have the expertise or qualifications to identify potential fall risks and accessibility barriers. Project costs can vary depending on the size of the project, your needs, and your home’s layout.
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