According to agingoptions.com, the number of aging parents living with adult family members is rising dramatically, with between five and six million elderly adults currently living in a household headed by their adult child. This is a 67 percent increase since 2007. While such a living arrangement is often due to economic considerations, others simply have a strong desire to care for those who cared for them. There are many issues to consider when an elderly loved one moves in; one of those issues is making your home accessible. While the specific upgrades you undertake will depend on the health and needs of your loved one, some of the top home renovation suggestions for seniors include:
- Widen doorways—If your home has doorways that are narrower than 32 inches, you may need to have them widened to accommodate a mobility device, such as a wheelchair. The existing door frame will need to be replaced, along with insulation, drywall, paint, and moving and rewiring light switches when necessary.
- Consider replacing slick or hard stone floors with a softer flooring that provides greater traction. Vinyl, linoleum, bamboo, and cork are all good options. If the cost of new flooring is a prohibitive factor, make sure there are no uneven tiles in your home and no rugs that could potentially slip and cause a fall.
- Bathroom accessibility features can be crucial for the comfort and safety of your loved one. Grab bars in the bathtub/shower area, as well as by the side of the toilet are simple and inexpensive, but crucial to reducing falls. Replacing existing toilets with those that are taller, installing a sprayer attachment on the showerhead, and making sure any bathmats or rugs are non-slip are simple changes that can make it easier for your loved one to remain independent. If you can afford it, a curbless shower or walk-in bathtub is also a good option.
- If your loved one uses a wheelchair, wheelchair ramps can eliminate the need to climb stairs to enter your home.
- If your home is two-story, a chair lift that attaches to the stairs will allow your elderly loved one to easily move between floors.
- Lever-style doorknobs are much easier for elderly loved ones who suffer from arthritis to grasp since they do not require a twisting motion.
For more home accessible features you can implement to help your elderly loved one remain comfortable and safe in your home, take a look at this aging-in-place home accessibility checklist. Additionally, your elderly loved one may qualify for certain home accessibility financial benefits, such as:
- Medicare Part B will pay for an occupational therapist to evaluate a home and determine necessary changes.
- Medicare Advantage plans could include certain home modifications based on medical need.
- Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waivers sometimes offer at-home services via Medicaid state plans.
- If your loved one is a Veteran, there are home modification assistance programs available to veterans through the Veterans Administration as well as non-profits that serve veterans.
Help You Need from Family Estate Planning Law Group
Planning and preparation are the keys to a smooth transition when your loved one moves into your home, and Family Estate Planning Law Group can help you make those plans in the right way. At Family Estate Planning Law Group, we work to address your family’s unique concerns—not only regarding estate planning but in many different areas that relate to estate planning and aging in today’s world.
Our promise to you is—Together, We Plan for Life®. We understand that you and your family will experience changes throughout your life, and we can help you plan for those changes. This is reflected in our ongoing client care program as well as our Family Care Meeting™, which encourages our clients to include trusted advisors and family members in the planning process.
This allows open communication between all parties before a crisis occurs. Together, our team at Family Planning Law Group will work with your family to create a plan that not only addresses your goals and concerns now but one that will take care of your family when it matters most. We understand your desire to protect your family, and we believe our team at Family Estate Planning Law Group can be a key player in that goal. We invite you to browse our Family Estate Planning Law Group website, explore our blog, and schedule your complimentary consultation today.