Aging in Place: The Importance of Home Upgrades for a Comfortable Future

77% of adults aged 50 and above wish to stay in their homes for the long term, according to AARP.

Despite the desire to age in place, many are postponing necessary home improvements.

CEO of Evolving Homes, Carol Chiang, emphasizes that people often say they want to age in place but may not fully understand what it entails.

Chiang’s clients fall into three categories: those with urgent needs after a      first-time fall, those with neurodegenerative conditions, and proactive adults planning for the future.

Carolyn McClanahan, a certified financial planner and physician, highlights the importance of planning for aging-friendly home improvements.

McClanahan enlisted Chiang’s help for her own home, focusing on creating an aging-friendly bathroom due to her and her husband’s lack of children.

Remodelling every 10-20 years, especially in your 50s and 60s, can make it easier to age at home.

The costs for aging-in-place upgrades can vary, with bathroom upgrades alone ranging from $30,000 to $80,000, depending on the project scope and location.

Ageing-in-place upgrades are a one-time cost, whereas the annual median cost for a private room in a nursing home is around $108,000.

Universal design features can add up to 30% to a home’s value, making aging-in-place upgrades an investment

Ageing-in-place upgrades should be considered early, ideally when buying the first house.

Focus on function over design; easy accessibility in the house is crucial.

Accessibility improvements should extend beyond bathrooms, considering accessible entry points.

Certified ageing-in-place specialists or occupational therapists can help identify specific needs.

Clutter Removal: Getting rid of excess clutter can make homes more accessible and safer.

Contingency Plan: Alongside home upgrades, having a financial plan and a contingency plan for when staying at home is no longer viable is crucial.

Location Matters: Costs of care and adjustments may vary by location; exploring local care communities and having a backup plan is advisable.

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