Sage Advice: Going Home - Post Retirement
Deciding on a Living Situation Post-Retirement: Tips for Seniors By Harry Cline, Guest Contributor
Deciding on a living situation after retirement can be a long process, especially for members of the LGBTQ+ community who have spent their whole lives cultivating their tribe. Many seniors plan on aging in place — meaning they want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible — but end up having to change their plans after realizing that their home isn’t conducive to their health and safety.
Other times, seniors are faced with important financial decisions that prevent them from being able to choose the option they really wanted. As such, it’s important to think about where you want to live now, while you have time to make changes or modifications to your home, to start saving money or to apply for grants or special loans.
Here are a few tips on how to decide on a living situation and what you need to plan for.
Think About Modifications
Whether you decide to move to a new home or age in place, you’ll want to think about the modifications that will make the place safe for your changing needs. Many seniors find that there are simple things they can do to make their health a priority, but your specific needs play a big role. For instance, if you have a vision impairment, painting the walls behind the toilet, sink, and stove a contrasting color will help them stand out more easily. Bigger modifications might include widening doorways or installing a ramp over outdoor steps. Take your budget into account and remember that larger changes will need to be done by a professional.
Look for an Accessible Home
Accessible homes are made with seniors in mind, so make a list of all the things you want in a home and utilize online resources to help narrow down your choices. Some accessible homes come with elevators or ramps, lowered countertops, and open floor plans to allow for easy navigation with medical equipment. Others have easy-to-maintain landscaping and walk-in showers. Take your needs into consideration before you begin a search.
Research Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities come in all shapes and sizes these days, so look online to find out what the options are in your area. You may want something that gives you some independence, or you may need help with daily tasks (e.g., meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping), especially if you have a disability or limited mobility. Before deciding on a facility, make sure to tour facilities in your area and consider how much you can realistically afford to spend.
Consider Alternative Options
One new senior housing trend that is becoming more and more popular is aging in community. While options like shared housing and intentional villages are untraditional, these living situations allow aging adults to live safely and stay socially connected. They can also save money and ensure consistent, high-quality care. Whether you’re looking to surround yourself with family and friends or find new, like-minded friends, you have options.
Deciding on a living situation can take some time, so try to be patient as you go through this process. Think about where your health will be in the next few years and how you can keep yourself safe; with a little planning, you can make the next several years golden.
Harry Cline today's guest contributor can be reached at email@example.com. The New Caregiver’s Comprehensive Resource: Advice, Tips, and Solutions from Around the Web for more info visit newcaregiver.org. Photo credit: Pixabay