The Value of Staying Home as You Age

When things go wrong in life, our response is always a desire to go home. That begins from a very young age, and we’re seeing more evidence every day that it becomes stronger than ever in old age.

There are a number of reasons why this is true. As senior citizens living in the same home we’ve had for decades, we have a lot invested in our homes. That massive personal and financial stake in our homes make them a powerful tool in our lives. They are a physical representation of what is important to us.

It’s that link that makes it so important to be able to stay in our homes as we age. No matter how nice a senior living facility is, it will never take the place of the home we had for 50 years.

At the same time, our golden years may bring about changes in our bodies and minds that will call for changes in our living arrangements. Many times, that’s what precipitates a move to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

But the great news is that it doesn’t always have to be that way. We can make modifications to our lifelong homes to enable us to stay there and still be safe and healthy. Here’s a look at some considerations you may want to make while they can still be done on your terms.

Planning For Mobility

This is the first thing that children and other relatives worry about. They don’t want to think that you could fall and get injured and unable to summon help. There are many different services on the market that allow seniors to carry a simple, light transmitter that enables them to notify emergency services and relatives with the touch of a button.

But it doesn’t take a fall to make your home hard to get around in. Just the struggle to go up and down the stairs to the bedroom each day can be too strenuous and dangerous. That’s where a retrofit with an EasyClimber elevator comes in. These affordable, safe systems take away the biggest hazard in your home and make it easier to perform daily functions in spite of reduced mobility.

Security

Another thing our kids worry about is our safety. Although cyber security is in the headlines more frequently, old-fashioned assaults, robberies, and burglaries are still happening. The elderly are always a target because predators believe they are less able to defend themselves and that they are more gullible to smooth-talking “visitors” who want to victimize them.

While most of our defense against this threat is within us, there are things we can do to the home to help as well. Install a security system. They are simpler to use than ever, with vehicle-style remotes instead of numerical codes. You may also get a break on your homeowner’s insurance for having one, especially if it protects against fire as well.

Maintenance

This is a major issue as well. Let’s face it: At 75 years old, cleaning the gutters isn’t as simple as it was when you were 35. No matter how much you love your home, you can hate some of the work. It’s easy to find contractors for big jobs like plumbing repairs, but small things like routine maintenance is not as appealing to professionals. Talk to friends and build a network of odd-job people who can cover these chores.

Home is where the heart is. Home sweet home. The list of old sayings about the importance of home goes on and on. As we grow older, it’s more challenging to stay home in the face of challenges to our bodies, but it’s not impossible. We just need to make provisions for our health and safety. Don’t see them as a sign of surrender, because they may ultimately prevent a true surrender. Plan ahead and stay home!

 

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