Aging In Place is a Community Effort
Having a safe and comfortable place to call home in our golden years is crucial to our health and happiness. And thanks to the village movement, senior-friendly renovations, and good old-fashioned determination, living in your own space is entirely possible. But it’s not something you can do alone. Here are a few resources, tips, and ideas to help you age well with your own community of support.
A Home For The Ages
First things first, if you plan to stay in your own home, it might be wise to consider a few accessibility modifications. Bild can help you evaluate your environment, and then make recommendations on upgrades that can keep you safe, happy, and healthy even as your abilities change. Door widening, a wheelchair ramp, grab bars in the bathroom, and stair lift are just a few options.
If you choose to stay at home, you might also consider having a caretaker (or senior roommate) move in with you for an added layer of safety. When your home isn’t large enough for an extra person, you may have the option of adding some extra square footage. HomeAdvisor expects that the average Milwaukee homeowner will spend around $44,811 to build an addition. Depending on the scope of your vision, you can spend $125,000 or more.
Of course, the money to renovate or add on to your home has to come from somewhere. The good news is that you likely have enough equity in your property to qualify for a cash out refinance. This type of mortgage, which replaces your current one, lets you access your equity. You’ll go through the same process as an original purchase mortgage, but you’ll finance more than you actually owe on the property. The difference between what you owe and what you finance is given back to you in cash and repaid in your monthly mortgage.
Affordable Housing Options
When staying in your current home alone isn’t financially feasible, you still have other options. One is to purchase a duplex. This is essentially one building with two distinct addresses. You can live on one side and rent out the other. You might even qualify for a higher mortgage this way. It’s the best of both worlds: an investment property and a residence.
Another option is to purchase a condominium in a planned community. These can be just as affordable as a small single-family home but also come with many benefits and amenities. Some condominiums offer on-site security, and most cover building and green space maintenance in your HOA fee.
Help When You Need It
Regardless of your housing choice, one of the best things you can do for yourself as a savvy senior is to establish your very own village. This does not mean that you have to move to an area where everything you need is at the tip of your fingers. Instead, a village model is a network of individuals who can provide help when you need it. For example, when you join a village, you may have access to volunteer services that can provide transportation and social activities. You may also become eligible for discounted services, including fitness memberships and home repairs. Perhaps most importantly, you are connected to a social network, and you’ll get to meet people in your own community.
Deciding on how to approach your living situation in your senior years isn’t always easy. But you do have options, whether you want to stay in your own home alone, bring in a roommate or caregiver, or move to more affordable accommodations. No matter what you choose, do your research before committing to something that will impact you for the rest of your life.
This article was written by Hazel Bridges – an advocate of health and wellness for seniors.