3 Surprising Money Myths About Aging in Place

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As we age, many of us start to think about creating a space where we can comfortably and safely age in place. However, several myths and misconceptions surround the cost involved in making a home age-friendly. Let's separate fact from fiction to successfully plan for the future.

Bidet toilet attachment is a low cost home modification for aging in place

A bidet toilet attachment is a low cost home modification for aging in place.

MYTH #1: Aging in place home renovations cost a lot of money.

It is a common misconception that aging in place home renovations are expensive. In fact, according to fixr.com, the average cost of such home modifications is $9000.

Like any home project, material choices are the difference between a budget-friendly or budget-busting remodel. For example, you can spend tens of thousands of dollars on high-end kitchen appliances. Still, you can also get ones with basic functionality for a few thousand dollars. 

Some projects are inherently more expensive, such as installing an elevator or building an in-law suite addition. However, compared to the high cost of living in a retirement community, aging in place is almost always less expensive.

New products and technologies become available every day, making aging in place modifications more affordable. Many free or low-cost home modifications can significantly improve comfort, convenience, and quality of life. Even small changes can make a big difference. 

Proper planning really is key to making the best use of your budget. Creativity is also very helpful in stretching your dollars. Spending the time to educate yourself about product choices and design planning will result in a more budget-friendly renovation.

Senior-friendly bathroom for aging in place

MYTH #2: Aging in place home modifications decrease home value.

There are many factors that determine property value. Most people equate senior-friendly home modifications with decreased home values. Clients often tell me that they’re afraid home renovations will make their home look like a hospital or nursing home. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Home modifications can be both functional and stylish.

The type and quality of home renovations usually determine property value changes. Home value may decrease if age in place modifications are poorly planned and done haphazardly.

When renovations are done well, tremendous value can be realized, often resulting in higher resale value.

Remodeling a home with universal design concepts enhances comfort and functionality for older adults and appeals to a broad range of potential buyers.

Consider these examples:

  • Open-concept living spaces 

  • First-floor master bedroom with en suite bathroom

  • Good indoor and outdoor lighting

  • No step entrance into the home

  • Spa-like and spacious curbless shower or wetroom

Homes with these features are in demand and appeal to many potential buyers, as families today often consist of multiple generations with varying abilities. These modifications can benefit individuals of all ages looking to enhance their current living situation and stay in the home for the long term. 

Wheelchair used by senior aging in place

MYTH #3: Medicare will pay for aging in place home renovations, assisted living, and retirement community living.

Medicare does not cover the costs of home renovations for aging in place, assisted living, or retirement community living. Some public and private programs available for low-income individuals may offer assistance with essential home modifications such as bathroom grab bars, widening doorways for wheelchairs, or installing railings or ramps for easier access.

Most seniors will need some home modifications to remain in their homes safely as they age. However, individuals typically finance these renovations with their personal funds. In certain circumstances, home modifications may be tax deductible.

Conclusion and Next Steps

There are plenty of mistruths out there about aging in place. Now that we've debunked some common money myths about aging in place home modifications, why not take a look at some more misconceptions? Check out these other myth articles so you have the information you need to make informed decisions about preparing your home for your golden years. 

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?