Are you retiring soon, or planning to retire later in 2020? Soon you’ll have the opportunity to finally relax and enjoy the home that you worked so hard to pay off over the years! Staying in the house where your family created memories and where you’ve grown comfortable may sound perfect; however, aging in place usually requires home modifications to be prepared for anything that life may bring your way. Examples of accommodations may include adding handrails, lowering counter tops, entryway ramps, moving the main bedroom to the first floor, and walk-in showers. “United States Aging Survey shows that many Americans age 65 and older say they want to continue to live in their own home as they grow older.”
Michael Gould, Northbrook Architect and Builder, is a home modification professional with 30+ years of experience creating ideal environments for people to age in place in the neighborhood they love. His design expertise configures the best cost-effective renovation options that meet your specific long term care needs. The goal is to create a barrier-free, stress-free, and safe environment. While that is the primary consideration, second on the list is making sure your home maintains or increase its value in the case you decide you want to sell your home down the road.
The investment is worth long term savings compared to what you may spend to live in a facility. The average cost of most remodeling projects run from $10,000-$20,000 depending on what types of renovations you’d like to make – this is still far less than what you might spend on a nursing home. LongTermCare.gov reports that the average cost for a semi-private room in a nursing home is $6,844 per month! The cost for a private room is $7,698 a month, and a one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility runs about $3,628 per month. Retirement Living shared an informative look at what the typical remodeling projects will cost for aging in place:
|Cost of Aging in Place Remodeling Projects|
|Project||Price Range to
|Avg. Cost to
|Walk-in Tub or Shower||$3,000 to $15,000||$5,000|
|Ramp Installation at Entrance||$874 to $1,751||$1,113|
|Widen an Entry Door||$200 to $7,000||$800|
|Stair lift Installation||$3,000 to $20,000||$8,000|
|Install Entry Handrails||$700 to $1,200||$8,000|
|Install an Elevator||$33,000 to $100,000||$50,000|
|Install Lever Taps on Faucets||$154 to $332||$220|
|Widen Hallways w/out Structural Changes||$800 to $1,400||$1,100|
|Widen Hallways with Structural Changes||$30,000 to $40,000||$35,000|
|Replace 10 Windows||$5,500 to $10,500||$8,000|
|Remodel Bathroom||$2,500 to $24,800||$14,000|
|Kitchen Countertop Height Adjustment||$15,000 to $20,000||$18,000|
*Prices vary by location
While the list may seem long, some of these projects are extensive and others just require minor tweaks. Michael Gould recommends taking a look at what your current physical needs of you and your spouse (if applicable) and then let us help you prioritize the project. This approach breaks it down into more manageable pieces and helps with planning the budget. We also want to ensure you’re making a smart investment and adding value to your home if you decide to sell in the future. Let’s take a look at the top 3 most common aging in place projects that would be most beneficial to most seniors:
Bathroom Remodel with Non-slip Flooring
Remodeling a bathroom may be the most important project to consider as you age. Falls and slips are the leading cause of death and injury for older adults. Most of these falls happen in the bathroom. So the best way to reduce the chance of you or your loved one slipping/falling is to replace the floor with a nonslip surface. Adding non-slip rugs or bath mats with suction cups also goes a long way. Changing out fixtures and the electrical will also add value to your home for the future.
Walk-in Tub or Shower Installations
Make your bathroom safer with a walk-in tub or shower. Walk-in tubs and showers help with compromised mobility. Seniors who use walkers, scooters or wheelchairs increase their safety and make bathing simple, enjoyable and less stressful when they have a walk-in tub. Providing a low step entry threshold of a few inches, getting in and out of a new walk-in tub is quite easy. Walk right in and sit down! The option is also attractive to others who simply have trouble climbing over the high edge of conventional tubs and are worried about falling.
Alter the Height of Kitchen Countertops
According to the AARP, “87% of these seniors want to age in place, instead of moving into a retirement community, nursing home, or assisted living facility.” Therefore you need to make sure your kitchen is senior-accessible with future constraints in mind. Do you have trouble bending down or stretching to reach for things? Some people may need to install higher counter tops while other may want them lowered depending on capabilities. Install a pullout pantry and place the microwave on a counter might make the space easier to work in. Adding wider space, lowering counters, and pull down shelving would create a kitchen that is also wheelchair-friendly if you ever needed that option. Remodeling the kitchen is a project that will add tremendous value for future resale!
“Aging in place” is an official term, defined by the CDC as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” All of us want to keep a sense of independence well into retirement, along with having the comforts of home. Avoiding the expense of a long-term care facility is a huge concern for many seniors. The best way to prepare for your future is to be proactive! Don’t wait until something happens, start planning now. If you or a loved one would like to stay at home for the long haul, it’s time to consider safety and convenience issues in the future as you enter the age of retirement. Michael Gould wants to help you create your best living space while aging gracefully. Read our previous blog “Home Renovations to Prepare for Aging in Place” to learn more about this topic.