Front: Photo Tom Rumble

Ideal Retirement Solution?

A speaker at a conference once said that she had found the ideal retirement living solution. Rather than opting for a retirement village, she and six friends had found a unique alternative—an old inner city working hotel with spacious bedrooms upstairs.

Her innovative approach to retirement living offered a multitude of advantages that she amusingly highlighted during her talk. Of course, it was light hearted, but she went on to talk about the importance of people having the option of staying in their own homes in retirement.

Ageing in place, or continuing to live in one’s same house and neighbourhood as one gets older, has grown in popularity among retirees. Freedom, familiarity, and memories are important to many. However, there are some actions and factors that must be taken into account to ensure a secure ‘ageing in place’.

Assess Your Current Home  Before Retiring

1. Evaluate the Safety of Your Current Home.

Assessing a home’s safety and accessibility is essential when looking at ageing in place. Look for potential dangers such as unsecured carpets, uneven ground, or dim lighting. Install handrails in bathrooms and on staircases, tack down carpets, and remove trip hazards. To make room for potential mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers, it may may be necessary to enlarge entrances.
Seek experts who can perform a home safety evaluation.

2. Make Good Home Modifications for Ageing in Place

It’s critical to modify your home to meet future requirements. Install grab bars in the bathrooms, especially near the toilets and showers. Think about incorporating a walk-in shower or bathtub with a low threshold for accessibility. Lever handles are more user-friendly than standard doorknobs. Non-slip flooring cab lower the possibility of falls. The convenience and safety of a home can be improved by purchasing smart home equipment, such as motion sensor lighting.

Retirement hobby, a man in blue top and cream oants and young boy in red top and blue pants kneeling down tending to garden beds.
Photo: CDC

3. Would You Consider a One-Level Living Area For Your Retirement Home?

The ability to climb stairs may get tiresome. Some people are able to relocate facilities like laundry areas, bathrooms, and bedrooms to a ground floor.  A stair lift may be an option to ensure access to every area of the property.
However, I’ve met older people who love stairs! They say it keeps them agile and fit.

Retirement, legs in black leggings with orange and white sneakers climbing up blue stairs. Important to consider a lift in retirement.
Photo: Lindsay Henwood

4. Seek Good Support From Others

It’s important to have a good social network to combat isolation. Meet people who share your interests, become involved in clubs, or your local community. A happier and healthier retirement can result from maintaining social engagement.

Many people we have met have created profitable hobbies and home based businesses. We wrote 101 stories or people who did just that, in one of our books, Retire Bizzi.

5. Home Security, Be Safe

Safety comes first, especially for people living alone. To keep safe from unwanted visitors, install a trustworthy home security system. Choose devices with medical alert capabilities that can call for assistance in an emergency.

One device that a relative found very helpful was the Mepacs system. He said that he felt ‘less safe’ without the small alarm that he wore.

 To further improve property security, think about installing security cameras and external lights.

6. Your Options for Accessible Transportation

Having access to transportation is frequently necessary to maintain independence. Look into ride-sharing services, community services, and public transport.

Interior of a bus with blue floral seats, yellow bars, black handles from ceiling. Important to consider transport options in retirement.
Photo: Callum Pastuszak

7. Consider Easy, Regular Home Maintenance

Keeping a home in good shape is crucial. Create a regular home maintenance routine to handle repairs as soon as they arise. When performing more involved repairs, think about getting help from professionals.

8. Consider a Good Home Care Services Plan

Do your research and make plans for the home care services that will give you the support you need. These services can include help with personal care, medical supervision, and meals.

These are just some of the steps to downsizing. You can take advantage of home comforts by making the appropriate house changes, providing a safe and social environment, and making plans for the future. Take advantage of the chance to spend your retirement years in your home.

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