Retirement is a time for rest, relaxation, and enjoyment of the fruits of your labor. For many seniors, this also means deciding where to live during their golden years. While some retirees choose to move to a smaller home or a retirement community, others prefer to age in place and stay in their own homes. Aging in place can offer numerous benefits, such as maintaining a sense of independence, staying connected with the local community, and preserving cherished memories.
This article will provide ten tips and strategies to help you stay home after retirement. From planning for the future and making your home safe to staying connected with loved ones and utilizing technology, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the most of your decision to age in place. Following these tips can create a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable living space that supports your long-term health and well-being.
Plan for the Future
One of the most important things you can do to stay in your home after retirement is to plan ahead. This means thinking about what you’ll need in the future and making modifications to your home now to ensure you’ll be able to live there comfortably and safely. Some modifications include installing grab bars in the bathroom, widening doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers, and adding a ramp to the entrance if you have steps.
Make Your Home Safe
Another important consideration is safety. As you age, your mobility and balance may decline, increasing your risk of falls. To minimize this risk, ensure your home is well-lit, and install handrails on staircases and in the bathroom. Consider adding a walk-in shower or tub with a low threshold to reduce the risk of tripping over a high step.
Get Help with Maintenance
Maintaining a home can be a lot of work, especially as you get older. Consider hiring a professional to help with tasks like lawn care and snow removal, or ask a family member or friend to help out. This can help you stay in your home longer without the stress of doing all the work yourself.
One of the challenges of aging in place is the potential for isolation and loneliness. To combat this, make sure you stay connected with family and friends. Invite loved ones over for meals or game nights, or consider joining a local club or organization to meet new people and stay active.
Plan for Emergencies
Emergencies can happen anytime, so it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have a plan in place for what to do in case of a power outage, severe weather, or other emergency. Keep a stash of non-perishable food and water on hand, and make sure you have a way to contact someone for help if needed.
Consider In-Home Care
If you’re finding it difficult to manage on your own, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. This can be especially helpful if you need help with tasks like bathing, dressing, or medication management. In-home care can also provide companionship and help you stay connected with the outside world.
Technology can be a great resource for seniors looking to stay in their homes. Consider installing smart home devices like voice-activated assistants, security cameras, and home monitoring systems to help you stay safe and connected. You can also use video chat apps like Zoom or FaceTime to stay in touch with loved ones who live far away.
Staying active is important for maintaining good health and mobility, but it can also help you live at home as you age. Regular exercise, such as low-impact activities like walking, yoga, or swimming, can help keep your body strong and flexible, improving your ability to perform everyday tasks and reducing the risk of falls.
Additionally, participating in fitness classes or programs specifically tailored to seniors can provide socialization opportunities and a sense of community, which can help combat loneliness and isolation. Incorporating physical activity into your routine can improve your overall health and well-being, supporting your ability to live in your home.
Seek Financial Advice
Staying in your home after retirement can be a great way to save money on housing costs, but it’s important to plan for the financial implications. Consider meeting with a financial advisor who can help you create a budget, evaluate your retirement income, and plan for unexpected expenses. This can help you feel more secure in your decision to stay home and enjoy your retirement years to the fullest.
Know When It’s Time to Move On
While staying in your home can be a great option for many retirees, it’s important to know when it’s time to move on. If your home is no longer safe or you’re finding it difficult to manage independently, consider other options. This could include moving to an assisted living facility or downsizing to a smaller home that’s easier to maintain.
Jennifer Bell is a mother of two, a long-time carer of two aging parents, and a writer for retirement communities in the Philadelphia area. She enjoys assisting people in finding physical and financial wellness.