Advice for Seniors on Setting up Your Community
By: Mary Shannon of SeniorsMeet.org
Aging in place has its advantages. First, you get to stay in the home where you are most comfortable. Second, you do not have to leave your own neighborhood or the friends that live nearby. Further, staying in your own home means that you can continue to maintain a relationship with your primary care physician, which is important as you get older. However, for some seniors, it’s not always possible to remain independent. If you want to age in the comfort of your own home but require some assistance with daily tasks and errands, you’ll find yourself much better off if you take an “aging-in-community” approach to your senior years.
What is aging in community? It is simply a way of setting up your lifestyle so that you have access to help when you need it. For one person, it might mean scheduling healthy meal deliveries and having a network of neighbors who can help with things such as lawn care and transportation. For another, it could be living in a senior-friendly community with access to independent, assisted, and skilled-nursing facilities where they can seamlessly transition without moving.
The concept of aging within the community is a big enough topic that the American Planning Association adopted new guidelines in 2014 to help builders, community leaders, and others learn how to develop and improve communities that improve the quality of life for a multi-generational population.
Creating your own village
Many seniors choose to move into a small home or condo after retirement. This is an important first step toward creating your own community of individuals and services that can help you age safely.
Before you get too far into the relocation process, however, make sure to research the housing market in both your current location and where you plan to move. Get in touch with the Shinabarger Team at HomeSmart Elite Brokers for market knowledge and advice in the Kennewick area. This is a good starting point to determine how much home you can afford based on how much equity you’ll squeeze out of your current property plus your income.
Once you have your finances in order, you can begin looking for other resources. Public transportation is one important factor to consider if you no longer drive.
In addition to various resources to consider, you may find that you’ll be more comfortable no matter where you live if you make a few modifications to suit your needs. Functional improvements include an inclined ramp at the doorway and wide interior doors to accommodate a walker or wheelchair. If you need any assistance with installing modifications, it might be worth investing in a professional service. For example, you can make your yard a safer place by hiring a tree removal service, which will take care of issues like tree roots and large fallen branches. You can find reputable tree cutters near me by visiting a search website like Angi and typing in your location. To help you decide on a service, inquire about referrals and get an up-front estimate to avoid any surprises with costs.
If you’re on a limited income, you may also wish to explore options that can lessen your financial burden. There are many elderly assistance programs that can help with things like food, medical bills, and even home repairs. And don’t count out the possibility of taking on a senior roommate, who can help offset some bills and will be happy to live in a home with both of your mobility levels in mind. If you are a widow/widower, having another person at home with you can also stave off loneliness.
Remember, if you don’t want to live completely alone but like your independence, you do have options. Living at home has its benefits, and setting up a network is an exceptional opportunity to remain connected to the community you love while receiving the help you need.
If you’re looking for a new place to call home, contact the Shinabarger Team at HomeSmart Elite Brokers for exceptional real estate services — (509) 947-8076.