Are you getting ready to retire? Many people who retire tend to head toward Forida or other warmer climates. But if you'd rather stay right here in Champaign County, you certainly wouldn't be alone. Aging in place is a growing trend, as retirees opt to stay close to friends and family and in the neighborhood they love.
If you've lived in your home in Champaign-Urbana for some time, there may be some things you'll need to take care of to make your retirement years more enjoyable and safe.
The key to facilitating aging in place is actually taking a holistic approach to home improvement leading up to aging in place — doing things like simplifying landscaping, repairing and replacing windows, swapping out door handles, and organizing closets and storage areas. Take a front walkway, for example. If there are cracks or dips in the concrete, you would want to address those existing safety issues before consider installing a wheelchair ramp or a railing that they’re not sure they’ll ever need. And installing self-cleaning gutters will not only make life easier in the short term, but it will also ensure that gutter cleaning is covered when climbing a ladder becomes too precarious later on.
What are some of the best ways you can prepare your current home in Champaign County to get the most of your retirement years?
Changing doorknobs to levers
This is an easy fix that will make a big difference if you or your spouse is suffering from arthritis or other joint issues.
Changing out flooring from tile or stone to wood or carpet
Falling on carpet is definitely safer than falling on tile.
Installing a smart security system or smart thermostat
Smart home devices are becoming very popular with seniors. They can keep your home at the perfect temperature without having to fuss with knobs. Automatic blinds can keep out the sun to help maintain that ideal temperature. And you don't have to mess with pesky cords with automatic blinds.
Does a smart shower sound refreshing? You can customize everything from the water's temperature to your morning playlist. And with smart locks on your doors, no more fumbling for keys. Just walk up to the door and they open up for you, as long as you have your key fob or smartphone on you.
Making renovations to bathrooms including comfort-height toilets and grab bars
You might not be fond of the idea of grab bars. They're not exatly the height of home design. But there's a new trend of designing them to add more flair and be part of your interior design. The Invisia Collection by American Standard is a collection that disguises grab bars as decorative flourishes on traditional bath accessories such as toilet paper rolls, towel bars and so forth. They offer the functional strength and durability needed to aid the homeowner, without being overt.
There’s one more important change you likely want to consider to make your home well-prepared for your retirement years: Single-story living.
If you don't already have a single-story home, perhaps you have a master suite on the first floor. Don’t have that either? There are renovations that can help transform the home into something that lives more like a single-story:
• Turn an unneeded space into a first-floor master. Do you have an unused guest room, formal living room, or dining room? That might provide the perfect opportunity to create a first-floor master.
• Add on to your home. This can be an even larger expense than adding an elevator, depending on how extensive the addition is. But if you’re set on staying in your home for retirement, it might be well worth it.
Staying in your current home in Champaign County as you age can certainly be an option, as shown above. But if you do decide to relocate, contact us today to see how we can help you sell your home in Champaign County.
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