Happy New Year! Even if you do not make New Year’s resolutions, most of us do think about where we have been and where we want to go when the calendar turns over to a new year. If 2018 is the year that you’ve decided to finally start modify your house to accommodate your changing needs as you grow older or live with a disability, let’s look at some general ideas to jump start your thinking. Our theme for 2018 is to Age Well!
First, safety and function come first. Be honest with yourself. Maybe you aren’t the person who should be going up on a ladder to change light bulbs or clean the gutters. You can still do it, but the risk/cost factor is probably too steep. If you fall and injure yourself, you’ll likely endure a longer and more painful recovery than when you were a younger person. So now is the time to arrange for a handyman to help with these things around the house, or to install gutter covers to eliminate the problem. If you can, continue to do the things that you can safely do, because these small tasks can contribute to your overall satisfaction with life.
Next is a theme you have heard from me many times before: do things that add quality to your life. Arrange your household and your circumstances to accommodate something that gives you happiness or expands your possibilities. If you like to bake, set up a mini baking center in your kitchen where everything you need is close at hand and easily accessed. Things don’t have to stay where they have been for the last forty years! Shake it up a bit! If you are taking a new class, make sure that you can get in and out of your house safely and easily.
Finally, enlist the help of your community, otherwise known as your family and friends. Oftentimes when I meet with my clients, I meet with additional family members as well. These are the people who understand your desire to stay in the home that you love. They are the people who can help you make the right financial decisions. There is a lot of decision making that goes into any home renovation project to decide what is necessary and affordable, and what is worth stretching the budget to accomplish. Your loved ones can help ease the way through all of the changes, too. It may be difficult for you to reconcile yourself to some of the changes, but keep in mind that, when the time comes, an updated home is much easier to sell for a reasonable price than an out of date home.
*Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes that may affect your health.