No one wants to admit that they’re starting to get older. It can be upsetting and frightening to realize that you can’t do all of the things you once were able to, and that sooner or later you’re going to start needing help to get through the day. However, there are benefits to taking action early on to ensure your comfort and happiness in later years.
Starting to make changes to your home that will allow you to age in place before you need them is a very pragmatic decision that can save you and your loved ones a lot of headaches in the future. Here are five reasons to start planning these changes to your house sooner rather than later.
Take the Process Slowly
The most basic and overarching reason to start planning age-in-place updates earlier in life than you think you need to is that doing so gives you time, something that is invaluable in this process. The flexibility that comes with beginning early is invaluable for a variety of reasons, but one of them is that it allows you to take the process of renovating your house slowly, reducing the amount you’ll pay all at once and minimizing how much it disrupts your life.
Some changes required to age in place are major, like bathroom renovations and stair lift installations. Others are small and simple, like removing area rugs that may cause a trip hazard and changing your door handles to a lever style. By starting early, you can do these things one at a time and make the project far less daunting and stressful.
Reevaluate Your Choices
Anyone who’s done any kind of refurbishing project before knows that sometimes you have to be able to pivot during the process and change the choices you’ve made. This is especially true for an aging-in-place update. Sometimes your requirements will change, or an update that you want to make to your home will prove impossible to accomplish. Starting this process early means you have the luxury and flexibility of time to make these changes and reevaluate your choices as needed.
Deal with Needs as They Arise
Aging is a constant process, and so is updating your home to accommodate aging. When you put off this process, you end up having to scramble to make changes to your house all at once that will allow you to keep living there. When you start early, on the other hand, you can deal with new needs as they arise.
For instance, as your health changes, you might find that you need grab bars in the bathroom far more than any other update. When you’re doing an aging-in-place renovation all at once, you might not be able to prioritize that need for some time, but when you’ve gotten an early start, you can address it right away, improving safety and quality of life.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Sometimes, life just throws a curveball at you, like a sudden and unfortunate decline in health or a difficult injury. These events can make it difficult or even impossible for you to stay in your home if it hasn’t been updated to accommodate a resident with higher needs. However, if you’ve already begun the process of renovating your home to age in place, dealing with these problems becomes much easier, because you already have the necessary tools in place. Starting early means being prepared for the unexpected, something that’s always wise!
Avoid Unwanted Changes
At the end of the day, the reason you update your home to age in place is because you don’t want to leave it. Spending your later years in an unfamiliar environment where you may be far from family and loved ones isn’t ideal for anyone, and being proactive about preparing your home can help you to delay this or even avoid it altogether!
As you can see, whether or not you think you need it right now, it’s never too early to start considering an aging-in-place update! Interested in learning more about what this type of renovation might look like in your home? Schuler Service can help you! Learn more here about how we can help you to maintain your independence and stay at home.