Helping Seniors Age Comfortably in Place
In a 2018 survey by AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, 76% of seniors indicated they want to age in place. But whether because of financial insecurity or health and mobility reasons, 46% of those same seniors said they didn’t anticipate being able to stay in their current homes. For those seniors with a considerable amount of equity in their homes, a reverse mortgage may provide the financial solution for aging in place.
A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is a FHA-insured loan that lets a homeowner withdraw a portion of their equity without having to repay the loan until they leave the house permanently. It’s available to seniors 62 years of age and older, and the funds can be used for anything, including paying for major remodeling and repairs to the home to support future health and mobility concerns. Here’s a look at some of the most common home remodeling ideas as well as trends that anticipate future needs of those homeowners who want to remain in their existing homes.
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Vision and Hearing Impaired
For seniors facing vision or hearing loss, there are some home modifications that range from simple to intermediate on the remodeling scale. For seniors facing vision or hearing loss, there are some home modifications that range from simple to intermediate on the remodeling scale.
- Lighting and line of sign are important for seniors experiencing hearing loss. Homeowners can add more bright lighting as well as remove walls in living areas to reduce visual barriers, making it easier for individuals to see each other for better communication. Also consider adding electronic door chimes that can easily be heard throughout the house.
- Lighted switch plates and outlets, as well as motion-activated lighting can help seniors with visual impairments or night vision loss safely enter and exit rooms.
Loss of Mobility
One of the most important concerns with aging is loss of mobility. There are a variety of home remodeling preparations that seniors can do now for safety and convenience later.
- Bathrooms: replace toilets with comfort-height ones; add grab bars to the tubs and replace traditional tubs with step-through versions. Also, for wheelchair accessibility, lower the vanity sink and eliminate the cabinet underneath.
- Kitchens: Lower stove cook tops so they can be accessed from a wheelchair and add more lower counter drawers instead of upper cabinets.
- Stairways: Add chair lifts or install elevators for interior use and add exterior ramps to help navigate steps and porches.
- Other modifications: widen hallways and door openings to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. Lower wall switches and raise electrical outlets so they are easier to reach. Replace doorknobs with levers so seniors with arthritis or other joint conditions can easily get in and out of rooms.
With the desire of some many seniors to age safely and comfortably in their own homes, there is a financial means to do so. To find out how you can use a reverse mortgage loan to fund home remodels so that you can age in place, speak with a Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional today.
Learn more about how people are using home equity conversion mortgages for purchasing homes:
Please keep in mind that the reverse mortgage industry in constantly changing and some of the information contained on this site may not be current. Please ask a licensed reverse mortgage professional for up-to-date guidelines.