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Living Spaces for Seniors: 3 Essential Features to Look for in a Home

Written by Posted On Monday, 12 September 2016 19:24

Have you retired or are nearing retirement and thinking about moving? Use this guide to help you find a home that accommodates your needs and suits your lifestyle. You may be thinking about buying a new home now that you are retired and your children have moved off to college. This home might be your last so it is important to choose one that will meet your needs for many years to come. When you bought your first home, you may have chosen it based on the school district or the large fenced-in yard. Now that your needs are changing, the features that you need and want in a home will likely be much different. You will want to find a home that will help you age safely and comfortably. To help you find a home that is perfect for your lifestyle, answer these questions before you began your search.



Will You Entertain or Have Guests Often?

Will your grandchildren or children be staying overnight often? Do you plan to host Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations at your home? If so, then you will preferably want to choose a larger home that offers enough space for guests. Most retired homeowners that previously owned a 4,000 to 5,000 square foot home can live comfortably with 2,000 to 3,000 of square feet of usable space.


Do You Plan to Continue to Work?


If you still plan to work on consult on the side, you will want to choose a floor plan that includes office or study space. Likewise, a craft or hobby room will be very important if you enjoy crafts.


After you assess your lifestyle needs, look for the following 3 features when choosing a home.


#1 How Accessible is the Home?

If you have mobility issues, having a bathroom that can be accessed by wheelchair is very important. Falls threaten older adults' independence and safety and result in enormous medical costs.  According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of injuries, both fatal and non-fatal for seniors. Over 80% of falls occur in the bathroom. Therefore, choose a floorplan that offers a large, open bathroom. This can help accommodate a walker or wheelchair as well as providing enough space for a personal attendant to assist with bathing. Make sure that the bathroom has or can easily accommodate a barrier-free shower or walk-in bathtub. These make it easier to get in and out of the shower and bathtub, which reduces the likelihood of a fall.  Grab bars for toilets and showers are also very helpful.


#2 Is the Floorplan Single Level?

Choose a home that offers single-level living. Retrofitting a two-story home with a bedroom and bathroom on the first floor can be very expensive. Stair lifts are also expensive and not appropriate for all needs. Therefore, choose an open, spacious floorplan that offers everything that you need on the first level. Also, be sure to check that there are no stairs going out of the house or into the garage. Accessible floor plans will allow you to go on living in your home even if mobility issues arise.


#3 Does the Community Offer Social Activities for Active Older Adults?


Social and physical activities lead to a better quality of life as you age. Activities like yoga, tennis and swimming can help you live longer and enjoy a healthier life. Research indicates that physical and social activity can help to slow or even reverse health issues in older adults. Therefore, choose a community that offers easy access to activities that will stimulate your body and mind and provide you with the opportunity to socialize with others. Brio’s 55 communities in St. George Utah are great examples of communities with diverse social activities.

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