Stop Making Band-Aid Fixes: Start Creating a Future Proof House

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Stop waiting until a medical crisis forces you to make changes, specifically home modifications, to maintain your retirement independence. If you think this doesn't apply to you, I encourage you to think again. 

90% of homes don't have the features needed to support older adults. In other words, they aren't future-proofed homes designed to accommodate common changes and challenges with aging, injury, and illness.

Yet, according to AARP, more than 85% of seniors want to continue living at home throughout their retirement years. 

But....

It's not simply a decision to make. It's a process to embrace.

Although they know what outcome they want, older adults and their families don't know how to achieve this retirement dream. Most need help figuring out where even to start.

  • What home changes are needed?
  • When should these changes be made?
  • How much do home modifications cost?
  • Who should make them? What products are needed?
  • What happens if these changes aren't made?
Older woman thinking about home repairs for retirement

Dangers of Not Creating a Future Proof House

What happens if you wait until a significant health crisis forces you to renovate your home?

Unfortunately, you'll significantly decrease the chance of being able to return home independently. In some cases, returning home at all may not even be an option. 

One of the main reasons people end up in nursing homes is because their home environment is unsuitable. It's unable to support them and the care they need.

Once at a nursing facility, chances of returning home again diminish further.

The best home renovations require time for thorough planning and execution. They aren't coordinated from a hospital bed during a stressful time - when you should focus on healing.

If you've ever done home remodeling, you know it's stressful and disruptive. A health emergency is not the time to add more stress to the process.

Even if you can go home, recovering in a construction zone is a less-than-optimal healing environment. Depending on the medical condition, it may also be dangerous.

Age in place bathroom project under construction

What to Do Instead

Most home accessibility issues stem from a few problematic home features. 

Homes are not one-size-fits-all. Most are designed for an "average" person who is young and fit, not older adults with mobility limitations and health challenges. So, as people age, most homes will no longer fit their needs.

Even homes in 55+ and retirement communities often lack essential features for accessibility.

Luckily, planning ahead and making home modifications before issues arise is an effective solution. Even small changes can result in a massive impact.

Accessible home features boost independence and reduce or eliminate reliance on family, friends, and paid caregivers. 

How to Get Started Creating a Future-Proof House

The easiest way to make home modifications is to incorporate changes into renovations you're already doing. Usually, the increase in cost is minimal, although it often takes extra planning to find the best products and solutions.

Here's an example. Most toilets are low in height. Getting off the toilet is difficult for many older adults, temporarily or permanently. Select a chair-height toilet instead of a standard-height one for your next bathroom remodel. Just a few extra inches of height makes this daily task safer and more manageable. 

Contractor installing a chair height toilet in future-proof house bathroom.

Getting Results You Want

What happens in the future is uncertain, but the usefulness of your home doesn't have to be.

Several essential features should be in every home. Having basic home accessibility dramatically improves comfort, convenience, efficiency, and safety for anyone of any age, especially older adults.

Home accessibility is a game-changer. It makes adapting to future events and life's challenges more manageable. Whether age-related deficits, illness, or injury, you never know when you or a loved one will need it. 

To get the results you're looking for, you must plan ahead. Otherwise, you'll end up with a band-aid fix when a crisis occurs.

Stop making reactive decisions. Being proactive and taking control of your life and home this way is much more impactful than most people realize. 

There are few things in life that we can control. But you are in the driver's seat when creating your home environment.  

You can set yourself up for success rather than play the wait-and-see game of reacting to whatever life throws your way.

A thorough plan and creating a home fit for a lifetime are powerful weapons in your anti-aging toolkit.

Happy senior man feeling good about his future-proof home  renovations

BONUS TIP:

Are you ready to discover the 5 key home features needed for retirement independence? Once you know them, you'll never look at your home the same way again. Get your free guide.

About the Author

As a home health Physical Therapist for over 20 years, I help clients solve home dilemmas so they can live their best life.

I'm here to use that same problem-solving expertise and training as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist to help you create an optimized home that's forward-thinking and future-ready to support you and your loved ones well for a lifetime.

Ready to discover your Golden Girl strategy for a retirement-ready home?