Senior Housing July 1, 2022

What to Look for in a House if You Plan to Age in Place

Two senior women being friendly

If you are looking to relocate and plan on making that your final moving experience, there are certain things to consider. As you grow older, your needs change, and your home should meet those requirements. Various factors will influence your future needs, but you can do some things to make sure aging in place is made more comfortable for you. We will present you with some essential things to look for in a house if you plan to age in place and help you set up your home to accommodate your future self.

What to look for in a house

You might feel that your current home is too big for your current needs or requires too much maintenance. Perhaps with age, you have found that you prefer a smaller and cozier environment or one with fewer upkeep requirements. However, as Verified Movers suggests, senior relocation can be a tough time. It is often emotionally and physically demanding, and you should look for a way to manage moving anxiety while also searching for your dream house.

Check out the neighborhood

Before picking a new house, make sure to get a good feel for the neighborhood. Try and take a stroll through the area. An area with wide sidewalks and level terrain will mean that you can take walks when you feel like doing so without straining yourself too much. This, in turn, means that you will be able to have a more active social life, and it will be easier for you to visit neighbors and have them visit you.

Keep your feet on the ground

Try to find a house that has all the necessities on the ground floor. This means you should look for a home with a master bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living room on the ground level. Stairs might not present a problem for you right now, but they become harder to climb with age, and any tumble you might take could have serious consequences. You should also avoid steps, so if possible, look for a house with level flooring. You might even want to consider making some alterations to ensure easy access to your home to avoid tripping hazards, such as removing door thresholds or making sloped entrances instead of steps.

Always look on the bright side

Lighting is another crucial factor to which you should pay attention. Look for a house with plenty of natural light and enough lighting fixtures to ensure that your home is always adequately lit. Our eyesight will probably deteriorate with time, especially with the amount of screen time that has become a part of our daily lives. Having a properly lit home will help ensure that you see what you are doing, where you are walking, and any potential obstacles. Another alteration you could consider is installing additional light switches as well as focused lighting in areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, or darker hallways.

Make your bathroom both appealing and practical

We all like an aesthetically-pleasing bathroom, but it needs to be practical too. Consider replacing any bathtubs with walk-in showers. Add stools in the shower so you can sit down if you need to. You might want to add grab bars in the bathroom, something you can hold onto and that can support your weight.

Additionally, some homes have non-standard toilets installed. These are comfort height toilets that are slightly higher than regular ones, making sitting and getting up much more manageable.

Look for a low maintenance home

When checking out a potential new house to age in place, pay attention to the materials used in the home and the landscaping. Durable, long-lasting, high-quality materials might be a bit more expensive than their low-end alternatives, but there is a good reason for that. These materials will last longer and require less maintenance and effort on your behalf later on.

In terms of your new home’s exterior, gardens that have native plant species in them require less landscaping work than those with exotic plants. Also, if a sprinkler system is present, this will make your life even more comfortable.

Pay attention to the furniture

People often overlook furniture and installations such as kitchen cabinets when viewing a house, but this is something you should keep in mind. Pull-out drawers and cabinets will give you easier access to whatever you are storing in them. Drawers also tend to be more user-friendly than cabinets as they won’t require as much bending. Countertops and washing machines can be elevated to reduce the amount of bending required too, which might seem unnecessary at the moment, but with age, crouching and getting back up becomes more and more difficult.

Don’t take the fun out of functionality

The simple fact that you are looking for a home to age in place does not mean it cannot be the house you have always wanted. There are so many designs and modifications available for just about every aspect of your home that you shouldn’t sacrifice what you want for what you need.

Making your house senior-friendly will make life in it at a later stage more comfortable, but it will also enhance your current life in the house and make it more pleasant. Many smart devices are available to make your daily chores and tasks even easier. These devices can be pre-programmed to complete specific tasks at set times. Such tasks include washing, turning on the heating or cooling system, switching lights on and off, and turning on the sprinklers, just to name a few.

Prepare for the move

As a senior, it is essential that you be properly prepared for the process of moving to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible. So, start planning a couple of months in advance. While you look for a perfect home for yourself, begin to search online for a senior moving company. Be sure to contact a few and get their estimates for your relocation. Compare them and settle for the best fit for you. Sort through your belongings and decide what is going with you and what you will donate, sell, or throw away.

Final words

Moving to a house that you plan to age in can be emotionally challenging and time-consuming work. There are many things to consider, from your medical history and possible future needs to looking for the perfect neighborhood and getting all you need and want. Don’t settle for less than you deserve, as this can be a new beginning for you. Just remember to team up with a reputable real estate agent that will help you find the perfect home for you to age in place.