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6 Things to Look for When Buying a House for Aging in Place

Elisa Gallagher  |  November 30, 2022

6 Things to Look for When Buying a House for Aging in Place

Many families in America these days tend to move relatively frequently, driven by several factors. Mainly this is caused by changing markets and job mobility, which causes a need to move often. However, settling down and putting down solid roots has recently become popular again. More and more people look for forever homes instead of looking for passable homes to spend time in. That is driven by people who want a home they can comfortably age in later in life. Although, there are also younger families looking for forever homes too. To help you find the right forever home, we’ve put together a list of 6 things to look for when buying a house for aging in place.

1. A downstairs bedroom is vital

Stairs become challenging to deal with the more we age, making a downstairs, easily accessible bedroom vital when buying a house for aging in place. Stairs might not seem like a problem currently in your life, but they definitely will get problematic. And while you can certainly install a chair lift to help out, they can be pretty expensive. Alternatively, you can look for a house with a downstairs room you can convert into a bedroom. Finding a home can be very difficult, depending on the state, so making these compromises is needed. Additionally, you should try to ensure that your forever home is your dream home. After all, if you want to spend your entire life without moving again, you should ensure you enjoy the home you move into.

A downstairs bedroom is essential for aging in place.

2. Look for a safe bathroom

A safe bathroom is the next essential thing to look for when buying a house for aging in place. After all, besides stairs, bathrooms are the most dangerous part of the house for seniors. As such, you want to find a home with a safe bathroom or one you can quickly turn into a safe bathroom. Slip-proof flooring, handrails to hold onto, and most importantly, are the bathtub or shower large enough? The railings are easy enough to add, but expanding the bathroom or changing the flooring can be difficult. So, when touring potential forever homes, remember to think about the bathroom. Additionally, keep in mind that experts from mastermovingguide.com note organizing a move can take a surprisingly long time. So, take the time and start organizing your relocation as soon as you know which house you’re moving into, and make sure you prepare correctly.

3. A good community

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a house for aging in place is the community where you’re moving to. Your life can get pretty miserable if you don’t get along with your neighbors. So, before you commit to a home, do some research and ensure you fit in beforehand. That can be difficult, but your neighbors can make or break a house, so taking the time is recommended. Having a community to be a part of can also make the later stages of our life much better. And if you want to move into your home quickly, buying and selling at the same time is a good idea. It’s much more challenging to organize but saves time and effort in the long run.

Being in a good community can make your life much more enjoyable.

4. Good light fixtures

Dim lights all over the house are a bad idea no matter how you look at it, especially since, as we age, our eyesight gets worse. At first, having good lighting across the house might not seem like too much of a big deal. But dimly lit rooms and hallways can lead to various dangers, including slips and falls. Thankfully, installing new light fixtures isn’t too tricky, so this isn’t the most crucial thing to keep an eye out for. But if you can find a home with recessed lighting and task lights, all the better. The better illuminated the house, the better for aging in place. And, when it comes to the move itself, remember to think ahead about organizing the process. You can ensure a smooth process only if you know how to approach the entire thing.

5. Wide doorways

Wide doorways have several benefits for seniors and can’t be overlooked. For one, fitting a wheelchair through a 36-inch-wide doorway is much easier than the standard 28- to 32-inch-wide door. We might not want to admit it, but as we age, we might need a wheelchair. And we need to take this into account when considering a forever home. And, wheelchairs aside, moving bulky furniture through wider doors is significantly more manageable, so they are beneficial. Buying a house at age 60 brings up some problems like this, so keep them in mind.

Wider doorways are a great idea when considering a forever home.

6. Shallow stairs with wide stairwells

While stairs are a problem for seniors, having access to your top floor is still essential. So, look for a home that has shallow stairs with wide stairwells. These stairs are much safer overall, and seniors can use them safely. The wider stairwell means someone can help you up the stairs if needed. Preparing for the future is incredibly important when it comes to aging in place, and these are some of the simplest things you can do to prepare.

6 things to look for when buying a house for aging in place – wrap up

There are a lot of factors to consider in a forever home, primarily concerned with senior safety. After all, as we age, everything tends to get a bit more dangerous, which also applies to the house—as such, preparing for this inevitability is a big part of aging in place. Thankfully, most of these things you can find commonly across the states, so hopefully, it won’t slow your search down too much. We hope that this list of 6 things to look for when buying a house for aging in place helps you, and we wish you a good day.


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