Aging in place can greatly reduce your expenses and uncertainty in retirement. However, it’s critically important that you design your home with retirement in mind before you are forced to make expensive changes due to injury, infirmity, or illness. Consider the recommendations listed below to increase your comfort and safety.
Installing Proper Insulation
Your house needs siding, so consider upgrading the product to increase the insulation quality of your home. In addition, upgrading your windows when installing the siding can also lower your utility bills and keep you more comfortable. Get your attics and walls checked, and upgrade the fiberglass insulation if necessary for warmth. There are several benefits of exterior insulation to consider when deciding how your home will be insulated. Not only will you be more comfortable, but quality insulations will increase the resale value of your house if you do need to relocate in time.
Adding an Elevator
Adding an elevator to your home before you must have one installed is critical if all the bedrooms are on the second floor. Many modern homes have bedroom offerings on several floors. However, if you prefer not to move your bedroom to the main floor, an elevator along the stairwell can keep you safely accessing your rooms as before. Even if you don’t always need an elevator to get down the stairs, make sure you use it to transport heavy or cumbersome items such as laundry baskets. One bad tumble with your hands full can severely impact your health for a long stretch of time. Use the tools you need to maneuver yourself and necessary objects around your home.
Even if you don’t build a ramp now, take a look at the front landscaping, and leave space for a ramp installation. It’s harder to manage steps as you get older, and you don’t want to be one of the over 800,000 people who are hospitalized each year with a fall injury. You can ultimately put in something permanent made of concrete, or you can invest in a modular ramp if you need one at any point. If your new home has a side access point, make sure not to add any permanent features or detailed landscaping near it. Often, a side entrance with easy access to the garage or drive is the best place to put a ramp.
Your retirement home should include all the features you’ve always enjoyed. If you love to cook, make sure that your kitchen has great task lighting and plenty of easy-to-access storage. Try to put the laundry room near the bedrooms to reduce the labor of moving clothes around. Consider an oversized garage for easy wheelchair access that you might need at some point. Protect your independence by planning ahead.
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