The rate of homeownership has fluctuated but not changed significantly since 1996 with 64.2 percent of Americans being current homeowners (U.S. Census Bureau). As the houses age so do the homeowners. By 2030, all baby boomers will be older than 65, leaving one in every five residents over retirement age (U.S. Census Bureau). The Better Business Bureau encourages all those wishing to continue living in their home past retirement to plan early for aging in place.
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 (CDC). 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. BBB® shares these four areas to focus on when preparing to age in your home safely.
One of the most significant obstacles to remaining in one’s own home is safety. Updates to consider may include adding a walk-in shower, safety rails, widening doorways and installing non-slip flooring.
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.
Budgeting for Expenses
Making changes to your home and continuous maintenance can get expensive, but you may find help from the local Area Agency on Aging, State Housing Finance Agency, welfare department, or community development groups. It would also be wise to seek advice from a trusted financial counselor as early as possible.
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 could also help without the technological investment.
Remember when preparing to invest money in a new project or seeking important advice always check www.bbb.org first to see a companies business profile and read verified reviews.