Should You Renovate Your Home As A Senior Citizen Or Go Assisted Living?

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When you are a senior citizen, you generally have some special needs to consider. Mobility issues and other ailments can impede your ability to age in place and continue living in your home where you’ve lived for decades. The problem is that many homes were not designed to accommodate elderly and disabled people. 

It’s important to have a house that is not going to cause you problems and is designed for your specific limitations. You can choose to make some home improvements to be able to stay where you are. Or, you can opt to go to an assisted living facility. In this article, we will go over what it takes to renovate and compare that to an assisted living facility. 

 

What you need to renovate

If you decide to stay put and live in your current home then you’ll need a solid renovation plan to make sure the house can accommodate your needs. It could be as big a job as tearing down some walls to create an open concept plan. Or, it may be as simple as doing some light modifications.


The key is to evaluate what your needs are, such as fall prevention in older adults and then find ways to address them. It all hinges on what your issues are. For instance, if you have mobility issues then you will want to have some open spaces so that you can pass through rooms with a walker. Moving the furniture is essential to be able to pass through unimpeded. You may find that you’ll need to widen doorways or even tear some walls down completely. 

The kitchen is an area of concern particularly if you are in a wheelchair and can’t reach the countertops and stove to be able to prepare meals. This means that the renovation should be a way to lower these things that give you access and allow you to take care of yourself. 

The bathroom should also be upgraded to something that will address many concerns that elderly people have. It is the most dangerous room in the house due to it being always wet and having lots of slippery surfaces. Even those without real mobility issues could find themselves falling which would cause them to lose their independence. 

Start out with the shower since it is a barrier to many which leaves them with less than ideal hygiene habits. Change the traditional tub for a walk in tub, or just have a shower with a seat in it so there is no need to step over the sides of the tub. Once inside, they are able to sit and wash themselves so there is less risk of slipping. Look for showers that have a built-in seat so it’s easier to clean and more ergonomic. 

Lastly, make the home smart so that you can have it help you take care of things. A smart security system will allow you to stay safe at home and make sure that you aren't susceptible to thieves and scammers. 

 

How assisted living facilities work

There are a lot of different versions of assisted living facilities and they all are designed according to the needs of the individual. For instance, there are some that are specialized in providing a living space for those with cognitive disabilities and have features such as locks and other devices to prevent them from running off. They usually also don’t have appliances like a stove for safety.

Others are designed for people with mobility issues so the layout of the apartment is made with wheelchairs and walkers in mind. They are able to live according to their ability and often have areas in which the facility will help them where they need it. For instance, they may be able to cook for themselves but doing laundry and cleaning up proves to be challenging so there is somebody that helps them with those tasks.

The biggest benefit of living in one of these facilities is the fact that usually they have some type of community area so you can socialize with the other members living there. Some have luxury amenities like a golf course and restaurant while others are more modest but still have a recreation center for events and game nights. 

There is a specific facility for whatever your needs are, but generally they will all be more expensive than renovating your house. It all depends on how well you can be independent as to which scenario is best for you.