The choice to remain in your home throughout your retirement years involves careful thought and tough decisions. Before making your final decision, you should consider three factors: fit, friends & family, and finances.
First, determine whether your home is still the best fit for your retirement. You have spent the majority of your life in your home, raising your family, making memories. Now, consider whether the layout of your home is the most convenient and safe for you now. How easy is it to traverse the stairs to your bedroom or the laundry room? How many rooms are you actually using and how many have furniture or items that you haven’t used in years? Can you continue the upkeep on your lawn and landscaping? How has the neighborhood changed over the years? How convenient would it be to shop or visit the doctor during inclement weather or if you were not able to drive your car? The answers to these questions are important not just for your immediate future. These are factors to consider if your current good health declines.
The next factor to consider when deciding to age in place at home is your access to friends and family. No matter your age, health or ability, we all need help from time to time. You will need to know that a neighbor or family member can help. Be sure you have a good friend to assist you or to check on you periodically, especially if your children are no longer in the area. Also, have a discussion with your children who may live near you to determine their ability to help. Finally, consider who you might contact for other tasks you may not be able to do such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, or doing household repairs.
You should also take a critical look at your finances to determine if you really can afford to remain in your home. While the Washington Metro area has a plethora of in-home services available the costs can add up. The average cost for a companion or home care assistant can run upwards of $20/hour. Most companies will require a minimum number of hours. If you include other costs such as grocery or medication delivery, home maintenance, meal delivery, gasoline and car repairs, lawn maintenance, and utilities, you may find that the total costs far exceeds your budget.
If your home’s fit, your friends and family, and your finances do not support your decision to remain in your home either now or in the future, you should consider other options. The communities of Retirement Unlimited, Inc. have independent, assisted living, and dementia care services to keep you safe and well cared for throughout your retirement years. Contact a community in your area for more information or stop by for a tour.