Making a move from one home to another can be an overwhelming task at any age. It can get especially complicated when declining health or safety issues are factors, or when simply attempting to plan for the long-term.
When a new chapter in our lives begins, or quality of life issues become a concern, there may be a need to have some frank discussions about the possibility of adjusting the current living situation.
Practical home renovations may resolve some of the concerns. There are professionals known as “Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists” (CAPS) who renovate homes specifically to eliminate obstacles in home design for aging residents. Costs can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars depending on the renovation needed. (Check out www.nahb.org for more information and to locate a CAPS in your area.)
If renovations are not practical or sufficient to address the concerns, or the location or floorplan is no longer convenient or accessible, helping loved ones transition to a new home environment may be the best solution.
Downsizing or Moving
When trying to ensure the safety, wellness, and quality of life of a loved one, the decision to move or not to move should include other family members (if possible and with permission) who may be affected by the move as well. Oftentimes, family members become overwhelmed with providing care, assistance, and other support to their loved ones. In some situations, family members may be so emotionally attached to their childhood home or concerned about the loss of keeping a home in the family that other professionals such as elder law attorneys, lenders, and financial and tax advisors should be consulted sooner rather than later.
If you are a busy professional with a lot of responsibilities, adding the responsibility of caring for an aging loved one can be a challenge. If you don’t have aging family members who are currently considering a transition to a better home environment, you probably will at some point.
Depending on one’s health and stage of life, downsizing may be in order (or even upsizing for when the grandkids come to stay). Independent living and retirement communities may be a great fit for some. These home environments may offer special amenities in a convenient location or with transportation services and with a more comfortable floor plan. Declining health may require moving to a community that offers in-home care or assisted living. Nursing homes for loved ones who need around-the-clock care may need to be explored as well.
It is best to investigate different home environment options for an aging loved one before it becomes necessary. When you’re well informed as to the options available, you will know about availability, level-of-care choices, expenses involved, financial qualification, and your preferences.
Financing a New Environment
Learning about how to finance a new living environment is extremely important. For example, a reverse mortgage, only available to borrowers aged 62 and older, may be the best option for some people but a poor choice for others.
If you’re considering moving closer to family who live out-of-state, you can research care cost comparisons with this online tool: https://www.genworth.com/aging-and-you/finances/cost-of-care.html.
Real Estate Specialists
There are so many important considerations when considering a move later in life. When facing the possibility of a move at age 55 or older, consider consulting with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES). The SRES is a designation awarded by the National Association of REALTORS® to those REALTORS® who have studied and acquired specialized knowledge and demonstrated skill as to the wide range of issues involved for people aged 55 and older.
Your SRES has access to a bank of resources and other specialists that can help you and your loved ones determine the best options for living and aging in comfort and facilitate a move with ease.
Gabriela Sandoval is a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) with Keller Williams Integrity Real Estate in Denver. She also assists family members who are grieving the loss of a loved one and who need to sell real estate involved in the Probate Court process. In addition, Gabriela is a Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist (CREDS), a Pricing Strategies Advisor (PSA), Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE), and an attorney. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 303.621.5992. If you need a great SRES outside of Colorado, Gabriela can provide you with a selection of SRES agents to consider. Call her with your questions!