Accessible Homes: What Seniors Should Look For When Buying

Accessible homes are so important for seniors and individuals who are living with a disability, but many older adults aren’t sure of what they should be looking for when it comes to safety, affordability, and comfort. Fortunately, there are many options these days for those who need a home that works for their needs; it’s just a matter of figuring out exactly what those needs are and how to make them affordable. Many homes are now being built with special considerations in mind, such as walk-in showers or step-free thresholds, but you may need more than that, so it’s crucial to think about your specific daily needs and routine.

The financial aspect of buying a new home is also important. If you’re on a budget, don’t forget to take everything into consideration, including the cost of the moving vehicle, whether you’ll need to rent a storage unit, and your eligibility for grants or loans in your state. Look online to get an idea of what you can apply for and how these benefits can help you make modifications to a home that doesn’t already have them.

Read on for more information on how to find an accessible home.

Consider a smart home
Smart homes have become more and more popular in recent years due to the benefits they have for individuals who have special needs and seniors who have mobility issues. This is because smart technology can help you do everything from locking the doors to staying on top of what’s in the oven. There are many different types of smart appliances and services that will make your life easier, so do some research to find the right ones for your needs.

Find financing
It can be difficult to fund all the modifications you want to do on your home, but fortunately, there are many grants and loans available in each state for seniors and disabled individuals who need to make changes. Look online to find out what might be available in your area, and figure out what you need to submit in order to apply. This can be very helpful if you need to tackle big projects, such as widening doorways or installing a ramp in order for your home to be wheelchair accessible.

Remove steps
It’s important to think about not just the stairs in and around your home, but the areas where you have to lift your feet, such as the bathroom or across the threshold of a door leading outside. If the home you’re looking at has a bathtub, think about installing a walk-in shower, and hire a contractor who can help you level things off at doorways around the house. For the front porch, look for a ramp that is cost effective and weather resistant, and keep in mind that metal ramps will freeze in the winter.

Make it safe
Take a look around the home, and assess how safe each room is. If there are lots of curves and you use a wheelchair, or other mobility equipment, consider making changes to countertops or built-ins that will help you navigate more easily. The flooring should stay consistent throughout the home to prevent falls, and the bathrooms should have grab rails installed beside the toilet and in the shower. If the home you’re thinking of buying doesn’t have these, they are relatively easy to install.

Accessible homes are perfect for seniors who want to remain independent and age in place, but it’s important to make sure you have a plan when you’re going into the homebuying process. Knowing what you want–and what you need–will be a big help when it comes to choosing the right home.

Written by: Hazel Bridges
AgingWellness.org
Image Courtesy of Pixabay
Photo provided by Hazel Bridges

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