There has been an uptick in requests for home remodeling for senior citizens in Spokane. More seniors than ever are choosing to age in place, and are tapping into home remodeling for senior citizens to make their homes more accommodating to their lifestyle.
Home remodeling for senior citizens can mean some simple changes, and it can also mean some major changes. Connecting with a general contractor that has experience in home remodeling for senior citizens can help any senior have a home that perfectly fits there needs.
Aging in the Home?
Aging in place or aging in the home are new catch phrases that cropped up about a decade ago. Many seniors and their families have to make some tough choices about what is the best setting for the senior as they age. For a whopping 95% of seniors, staying in their home and living their life, is the decision that they make.
There are over 54 million people in the US that are over the age of 65. As the baby boomers (Americas largest generation ever) age, there has been more focus on where people should age, how they should get support, and exactly what being mature in America looks like.
There is power in numbers, and senior Americans certainly have the numbers behind them to ensure that they are not overlooked. Today’s seniors have put a damper on the image of what “senior” looks like.
They are more active then previous generations, healthier, and want to age in their home. Of course, there are some changes that may have to be made for a senior to stay in their home safely. Getting in some help with household chores, personal care, traveling to doctors appointments, or even just for companionship has helped a lot of seniors stay exactly where they want to be.
Other changes include home remodeling for senior citizens to make the home safer, and more accessible. Everything from kitchen renovation that includes lowering cabinets to simple landscaping changes, are helping seniors stay in their homes safely.
Getting Started On The Projects
It is strongly recommended that any senior that is considering some home improvements or home remodeling, uses only reputable contractors. Unfortunately, there has been some stories about seniors in Spokane that have been swindled by would be contractors that were nothing more than con men.
One of the heartbreaking stories that were reported was about Sue G. Her young man showed up at her door unsolicited and said he worked for a driveway resurfacing company. He sold her on the idea that resurfacing her badly cracked up driveway would make it safer for her to walk on.
She paid $500 up front on the $1000 job, and the young man never came back. She reported the crime, but evidently the young man used an alias and could not be found. The money was gone, and her driveway was still a mess.
There have been other stories just like Sue’s, avoiding being taken by seedy conmen, starts with only using reputable providers. You should never pay anyone for an estimate for service. A free estimate should be offered by any reputable contractor.
Before you write a check or hand out money make sure that:
- You check the company out. Get a phone number, ask about references, and read reviews. If you feel uncomfortable making calls or asking for verification of the companies legitimacy ask a trusted friend or relative to help.
- Have someone check the work to ensure it is done right. Ask a relative or a friend to check the work out to be sure that it is done as promised.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints. You can also check with the Department of Aging to see if there has been any complaints filed.
It is always better to be safe than sorry, and do the extra work to ensure that you are dealing with a trusted service. You do not want to find out that you paid for elevator services to be installed, which is a big investment, that the project is not done right, and you are right back where you started.Don’t make the final payment until the entire project is completed. One of the biggest scams out there that many seniors in Spokane fall victim too is paying for a project before it is complete. Some unsavory types will prey on your need to get the project done and keep hitting you up for cash. Just say no.
What Projects Are Popular?
There is a litany of projects that can help to make the seniors home safer, and more livable as they age. Simple stuff like having automatic garage door openers installed can make a huge difference in inclement weather. Being able to push a button from inside the vehicle, open the garage door, and pull right in, can help seniors to avoid icy conditions in the driveway, and stay out of the elements.
In the US two of the most popular rooms to rehab for any homeowner at any age is the bathroom and the kitchen, and those two rooms are also favored for home remodeling for senior citizens. The bathroom especially is a good space to remodel to help seniors stay in the home.
Experts have determined that about one-third of slip and fall injuries for seniors occur in the bathroom. Falls at any age can be dangerous, but they take on a whole new level of risk for people 65 and older.
Making a few changes in the bathroom can help to reduce the risk. Some of the home remodeling for senior citizens in the bathroom can include:
- Installing safety bars near the commode, and in the shower.
- Installing bathroom furniture like shower seats to make bathing easier and safer.
- Installing walk-in showers and removing tubs.
Special flooring with traction can be installed as well to ensure that the senior remains sure-footed in this notoriously wet environment. The right surfaces, combined with the right fixtures, and furniture can help to make the bathroom a less risky space. The beauty of redoing the bathroom is of course, it can make life safer, but it also increases the value of your home.
Of course the bathroom is not the only thing you should be thinking about when it comes to home remodeling for senior citizens. There are other areas that may need some adjustments as well. For example, if you are going to redo the bathroom why not consider a new water heater installation. You could have an on-demand system installed which could cut your energy bills down substantially. What you do in your home to improve your living conditions can help you to live on your new limited income budget.
Making changes to how a senior lives in their home is not the only part of aging in place. There are financial considerations as well. Doing all that can be done to improve the energy efficiency of the home can make the space more affordable.
Here are some home remodeling for senior citizen projects that can help to make the home more affordable:
- Retro fitting insulation.
- Replacing windows and doors.
- Switching to LED lighting options.
While retrofitting your home for insulation may not sound like a project that is going to make your space more livable, it is a good project to undertake because it makes your home more affordable. Energy is one of the highest bills to deal with, making your home more energy-efficient will help to reduce the cost of aging in the home.
Replacing windows and doors with high energy efficiency windows and doors, can have the same benefit as retrofitting insulations. Cutting heating and cooling bills down helps to take the stress out of aging in the home.
Let’s Head Outside
Aging in your home is all about simplifying things so that you can age comfortably and have to worry less. You want to simplify things both inside and out and make sure that the spaces are safe. A residential landscaper can help to improve your outdoor spaces and make them safer and more usable.
Of course, a residential landscaper can also provide you with the maintenance services that your outdoor spaces require, and you can check those chores right off the list. Outdoor spaces should be simplified. Take a look around and consider:
- Having walkways installed so you do not have to trudge through the lawn.
- Having lighting installed in your landscaping to ensure safety when walking in the dark. Landscape lighting also helps to keep the criminals away.
- Having any damaged walkways repaired.
Outside areas need to be cared for not just for the curb appeal but to ensure that walking around outdoors is safe for the senior. Lighting, low cut hedges, and fencing options can help to keep the perimeter of your home safer.
Tree pruning and trimming can help to protect your home, and you. Any tree limbs that are dangerous should be removed to help reduce the risk of injury and property damage. While these activities are not technically home remodeling for senior citizens, they are necessary. There is no sense in having a complete kitchen or bathroom revamp when the risk of injury is right outside your door. Ideally, both indoor and outdoor remodeling will be done to keep your home safe as you age in place.
Outside structures should be evaluated for safety concerns. A new residential garage door install to replace that old faulty garage door can be a great project to improve living conditions and reduce the risk of injury. Sheds that are faulty should be either repaired or removed.
Many seniors worry about finances as they age in place. You can take steps to worry less and enjoy life more. For example, seeing an estate planning attorney now and getting all your affairs in order, will help you to feel settled and ready for the future.
Making sure that all your finances are in order will help you to focus on the changes that you want to make to your home. Home remodeling for senior citizens will be a lot more enjoyable if you have your ducks in a row with your finances.
A lot of seniors want to have the work done that they need but they worry about spending the money to get it done. You may have some resources available to you that you have not really considered. For example, reverse mortgages can help you to tap into the value of your home without you having to worry about making a monthly payment.
Other options for finding the money for home remodeling for senior citizens include:
- Applying for grants.
- Cashing out stocks and bonds.
- Selling off the things you do not use anymore.
There are grants that you may be eligible for, for certain projects, like retrofitting your home with insulation. If you have stocks and bonds, you may want to sell some of them off to raise the capital to invest in home remodeling for senior citizens.
Do you really need that second car now that you and your spouse are retired? How about other gadgets and luxury items that you do not use anymore? Get rid of it, free up some space, and raise some cash for the home remodeling for senior citizens projects that are going to make your home more livable. It is a great trade-off.
Is it a lot of work to get your home ready for aging in place, the short answer is, yes it can be, but is it worth it, that is also a solid yes. Staying in your home where you are comfortable and at ease, is priceless. Study after study has shown that seniors that are able to stay in their home surrounded by family and friends, as they age, live longer, report being happier, and have a better quality of life.
Home remodeling for senior citizens can be a big undertaking, but if you play your cards right, and you plan ahead, you can do the work little by little. The return on your investment will be calculated by the reduction in risk of injury and falls. It is well worth all the effort.