Top 5 Renovations for Aging in Place
Aging Americans Prefer to Stay Home for a Fraction of the Cost of Alternatives
According to a 2015 Harvard Study, over 40% of households over age 65 have some need for home accessibility features to continue to live in their homes without assistance. While some will relocate to homes that better suit their needs into old age, others will choose to age in place and seek remodeling services accordingly.
These trends lead homeowners and property investors to consider the wide range of remodeling and home improvement projects that improve a home’s accessibility: from inexpensive lighting upgrades to complete bathroom overhauls.
Aging Texas Well is a government initiative focused on helping older Texans live a higher quality of life across a number of areas crucial to aging well. Their recent brief on access to safe, affordable housing for older Texans points to a sharp contrast between the high growth expected in demand but an inadequate supply of appropriate housing choices.
While staying at home is still far cheaper, and some say healthier, than institutional alternatives, it can be a significant cost to absorb, especially for those on fixed incomes. Fortunately, Medicare Part B can help aging Americans get a proper assessment to determine which remodeling projects are necessary, and Medicare Part C can help pay for the work.
Hiring a reputable service provider for aging in place modifications is important to safety and economy; Forbes recommends finding a specialty contractor accredited by the National Association of Home Builders or AARP’s Certified Aging in Place Specialist programs.
Where to start? While a qualified occupational therapist will be able to make specific recommendations on a case-by-case basis, certain general recommendations from the National Institute of Health can be helpful to most everyone:
· Secure carpeting to the floor and eliminate area rugs
· Use door and faucet handles that are easier to use
· Install grab bars in the tub, shower, and beside the toilet
· Use non-skid mats or strips where surfaces may become slippery when wet
· Use night lights and install light switches at the tops and bottoms of stairs
· Install a ramp to the front door with handrails