BBB ON HOMES Focus on several things when aging in place
Many homeowners plan to stay in their homes over the long-term, and some may plan to live independently at home rather than moving into a retirement community, if possible.
Living at home as you age does require advance planning, however. The Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas encourages all homeowners wishing to continue living in their home past retirement to plan early for aging in place.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aging in place is defined as the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age, income, or ability level.
While the goal of remaining in one’s own home is shared by many, it isn’t always feasible due to declining health and changes in finances.
The Better Business Bureau shares these four areas to focus on when preparing to age in your home safely:
Safety updates: One of the most significant obstacles to remaining in one’s own home is safety. Updates to consider may include a walk-in shower, safety rails, stair lifts, widening doorways, installing non-slip flooring or adding ramps, if a wheelchair is necessary.
Obtaining provisions: Getting the necessities like healthy food and medications to your home can be an issue over time. Luckily, grocery stores and food-delivery services are growing in popularity, and medical delivery services seem to be developing as well. Certain non-profits offer food delivery services too.
Preparing for emergencies: While emergencies may be stressful to envision, it’s best to be ready for them before they occur. Living alone can make it difficult to get aid promptly following an accident, but technological innovations can help. Home surveillance cameras and medical alert systems can be a fast and easy way to summon assistance. Establishing a contact, perhaps a family member or friend, to check in on you regularly also could help without the technological investment.
It is important to have access to quality health care and some mode of transportation, too.
Budgeting for expenses: Making changes to your home and any continuous maintenance or repair work can get expensive, so you will need to examine your financial situation and retirement savings to see what is feasible.
It would also be wise to seek advice from a trusted financial counselor as early as possible.
On a final note, if you are considering any of these changes to your home and need to hire a remodeler, financial counselor, home security company, or any other business or charity, remember it is always important to research the company thoroughly first.
You can check BBBHouston.org to look into many types of businesses and read any customer complaints and reviews before you hire.
The Better Business Bureau is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Visit www.bbbhouston.org or call 713-868-9500. Leah Napoliello is senior director of Investigative Services with the BBB of Greater Houston and South Texas. Send questions to Leah Napoliello, Better Business Bureau, 1333 West Loop South, Suite 1200, Houston, TX 77027, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your mailing address and phone number.