How to Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place

Enjoying Life at Any Age

This post is written by Patrick Young who has been a regular contributor to our blog.  Patrick is an advocate for those with disabilities and writes important information pertaining to those with disabilities. This article focuses on preparing your home as you age. This speaks personally to me as we have been helping my grandmother through some transitions as she ages.

How to Prepare Your Home for Aging in Place

Image courtesy of Unsplash

For many older adults, aging in place is a priority. In fact, some statistics indicate that 90 percent of seniors hope to stay in their homes as they grow older. If you’re considering changes to make your home more age-friendly, there are a couple of key strategies you should keep in mind. Read on for information to help you create an environment that will support you and keep you safe throughout your golden years.

Steer Clear of Falls

Stability is something we take for granted in our younger years. However, along with age can come serious risk for falls. In fact, HomeAdvisor notes that more than a third of adults over the age of 65 fall every year, so modifying your home with fall prevention in mind is important.

In order to make appropriate changes, it’s helpful to understand why seniors fall. Waning eyesight can be a major contributing factor since older eyes don’t adjust to changes in brightness as well as they used to. Aim for even, bright lighting throughout the home, adding task lighting as needed where you work. Pay special attention to dim areas where no natural light is available, such as hallways and staircases. If lights are already installed in those areas but navigation remains challenging, use brighter light bulbs. In addition to added lights, you can use paint to brighten a space and boost contrast, such as making a dark staircase easier to see.

You should also think about your home’s general structure. In the event that you should require an assistive device such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair, an uncluttered floor plan with wider-than-average hallways and doorways can be a boon. Also, think about where your most-used rooms are located. Having your bedroom, kitchen, bath, and laundry on the main floor is helpful when aging joints aren’t able to traverse stairs as well.

Beware of the Bath

As far as most dangerous spaces, bathrooms usually top the list for seniors. The combination of slick surfaces, water, and changes of position can lead to getting off-balance and not being able to recover. You can address those concerns with a little tweaking, making an otherwise tough-to-navigate space easier as you age. Consider adding non-slip strips to the tub and shower area, a bathmat outside the tub, and a comfort-height toilet. Grab bars should also be installed in three places: in the tub and shower area, near towel racks, and next to the toilet. Many people are concerned that grab bars will look institutional, but some newer grab bar designs blend seamlessly with decor, adding a spa-like feel.

Out and About

Your home’s exterior deserves some special considerations. Senior Health Memos notes that low-maintenance landscaping choices, such as evergreen shrubs and raised beds, make upkeep easier for older adults. Similarly, easy-care siding and some added hardscaping can keep you enjoying the great outdoors throughout your golden years. While you’re making upgrades to your home’s exterior, consider incorporating a ramp into the design. Ramps allow easier navigation to and from your home regardless of weather, and even when carrying bags or using a cane. Make sure that you can remain active into the evening hours by adding appropriate outdoor lighting on paths and porches.

Lastly, don’t overlook the garage. Being able to park your vehicle indoors helps you avoid getting outside in inclement weather. If your garage primarily serves as a storage room instead of parking space, do some decluttering and make accommodations for your car. Ensure you can come and go freely, with ample lighting and no tripping or slipping hazards.

Making a home into a safe haven for your senior years is a smart decision. Ensure it’s easy to tend and supports your changing needs. With a handful of well-chosen changes, you can comfortably look forward to aging in place.


This is a guest post from Patrick Young. Patrick created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and offer advice about navigating various aspects of life. For more information and resources, you can contact Patrick at AbleUSA.


We do not sell real estate but appraise it.  If you would like to provide a guest post please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.  It is our desire to provide you with relevant information in regards to real estate appraising and those who use appraisal services. 

Additional Resource: Senior Home Safety Guide

A Market Advantage: Tips for Selling a House in Winter

This article is written by Patrick Young who has been a regular contributor to our blog.  Patrick is an advocate for those with disabilities and writes important information pertaining to those with disabilities. This article focuses on selling your home in the winter.

 

 

A Market Advantage: Tips for Selling a House in Winter

Real estate tradition holds that spring and summer are the traditional home-buying seasons. After all, the weather’s more accommodating, and it’s easier to make a house look appealing if the trees aren’t bare and snow isn’t blowing. But for prospective buyers who don’t find the right house at the right price during the warmer-weather months, winter may the time they need to get a deal done.

If you’re a seller, buyers who weren’t able to find a deal in the warmer seasons are well-motivated, which can be a real windfall for a seller who needs to get top price for their property. Bear in mind that you needn’t price your house lower than you otherwise would simply because you’re selling in winter.

Curb appeal

Come wintertime, antsy buyers start feeling the heat, with end-of-year tax benefits at issue and the need to move out of a home they’ve put up for sale or a lease that’s terminating. You can capitalize on a situation that’s to your advantage by maximizing your property’s curb appeal. When the flowers are blooming and the sun’s shining, prettying up a home’s exterior and front landscape is a comparatively easy undertaking. But with bare trees and snow cover, getting that “wow factor” isn’t so easy, and some home owners come up short as a result.

Make sure to rake up all those leaves or hire a lawn service to do the job for you. Keep the lawn well-cropped and edged, and keep all walkways and sidewalks swept and cleared of leaves, snow, twigs, and acorns. The gutters often go overlooked by people selling in colder months, so make sure to do a thorough cleaning of yours to give the impression that yours is a well-kept and cared-for property, worth every cent of what you’re asking for it. There are many gutter-cleaning services that can do the job for you reasonably if physical restrictions or age prevent you from getting up on the roof.

Promote your property

Photos are an important way to promote your property on your realtor’s website and via social media, but unfortunately, winter exterior shots don’t make the kind of impression that photos taken in the summer do. Accentuate any photos taken earlier in the year or, if necessary, arrange for a professionally staged exterior shot once your lawn and the front of your house have been cleaned, raked, and well-groomed for the occasion.

Stage, stage, stage

If you’re selling in winter, your best bet may be to accentuate what your house has to offer on the inside, so stage each room carefully. Sometimes, knowing who you’re dealing with may suggest a staging strategy that makes the difference. Prospective buyers whose kids have moved out, for example, may be looking for an in-home work space, so carefully staging a third bedroom or finished basement may give them an idea that seals the deal. Similarly, a young couple may be looking for a room that would make a good nursery, so remove any extraneous furniture and clutter from an extra bedroom to help them envision themselves caring for a newborn in that space. In general, decluttering as much as possible is best. You can do it yourself or even hire professionals to complete the job. Check reviews and price quotes online before hiring a packing service.

If you’re pressed for time, there are simple and quick ways to help get your home ready for potential buyers. Load the dishwasher, brighten the house by turning on all the lights and opening the curtains, and get rid of bad odors by taking out the trash and spraying Febreze in the affected rooms.

Repairs, renovations

Make a careful survey of your house, and take care of any fixes or upgrades that might help prevent damage resulting from harsh winter weather. Pay special attention to the roof and exterior walls, and have your HVAC unit serviced if necessary.

Selling a house in the winter can give you a valuable market advantage, particularly with fewer houses on the market and plenty of buyers needing to find the right house and finalize a deal. Pay careful attention to your property’s external appearance, and stage each room with great care, making sure to show off the space and flow inherent in your space.

 

photo courtesy of Pixabay

This is a guest post from Patrick Young. Patrick created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and officer advice about navigating various aspects of life. For more information and resources, you can contact Patrick at AbleUSA.

 

We do not sell real estate but appraise it.  If you would like to provide a guest post please contact us at www.dwslaterco.com.  It is our desire to provide you with relevant information in regards to real estate appraising and those who use appraisal services.