Making accessibility renovations to your home

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Mark Price
October 17, 2022
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No matter how much we cherish our abode, it inevitably becomes less functional for our evolving needs as we age. Potential challenges with health and mobility could make some aspects of living in our home difficult in the future. Traditional bathroom and shower setups can pose hazards, and ascending multiple flights of stairs could become difficult. Some retirees decide to sell their home and relocate to a retirement community, but others want to make modifications to their current residence. Your ideal home can still be just that with some modest adjustments, giving you the independence and freedom you've always wanted.

Why should you renovate?

Many elderly people have difficulties maintaining their independence due to health problems. For those who have problems walking or use a wheelchair, a two-story house can provide some challenges. It's possible to slip and fall when entering a wet bathroom. Moving out, though, isn't the only choice you have.

Many modifications and changes can be made to a conventional house to make it considerably more accessible for seniors with accessibility needs, allowing them to continue living in the home they have loved for many years.

Regular accessibility renovations

There is always a simple way to make your home more accessible, no matter what changes may be necessary. The following are examples of the kinds of accessibility enhancements that are frequently requested:

  • Bathroom remodelling - Installing grab bars next to toilets, inside bathtubs and showers, and installing special lighting to make it easier for people with vision impairments to see are all ways to reduce slips and falls. Additionally, special walk-in showers or zero threshold showers can simplify bathing and promote safety while promoting greater freedom.
  • Lower countertops – Standard counters are too high for wheelchair users to use comfortably. You may easily regain access to your kitchens and bathrooms by lowering your countertops.
  • Accessible closets - For anyone with mobility challenges, remodelling your closet by lowering the rods and providing storage options that are simpler to reach is a great solution.
  • New flooring is one of the best ways to make a home handicap accessible. Some flooring can become quite hazardous due to the risk of slipping when wet. Carpets, on the other hand, can be tricky to navigate on if you need a wheelchair or walker.
  • Ramps for wheelchairs are essential because it can be challenging to enter a house with stairs. An entrance ramp can be a huge help if you have mobility issues, whether you use a wheelchair or just have trouble walking.
  • Adjusting the width of door frames is essential if you use a wheelchair and need to get around your home. Even though most door frames aren't broad enough to allow a wheelchair (particularly in older homes), this is a problem that can be easily remedied by re-modelling.
  • If you have hip or knee issues, or if you use a wheelchair for mobility, you may find that ascending and descending stairs is difficult, if not impossible, without the assistance of a stairlift. Despite their high price, stairlifts make getting around the house much simpler for those with mobility issues.
  • Home monitoring gadgets - In recent years, a plethora of useful solutions have become available, such as Help buttons to contact authorities for medical aid in an emergency, and indoor cameras or fall sensor mats to provide an extra sense of security. These devices are simple to set up and can help many elderly people remain independent in their own homes for much longer.

Why are reverse mortgages so common as a method of financing accessibility improvements?

To cover the high expense of making their homes more accessible, many people prefer not to liquidate their assets. Others who are unable to care for themselves at home feel they have no choice but to relocate to a retirement or long-term care facility.

In any case, there's a third possibility to think about. To cover the costs of any home accessibility modifications you may want to make, a Reverse Mortgage is an excellent option.

There is no payment schedule associated with these mortgages. Rather, the debt is settled when the house is sold, or the borrower dies. Reverse mortgages are a great solution for many retirees who don't have a lot of cash on hand and need to make modifications to their homes to make them more accessible.

Renovating a home for handicapped access can be expensive, but it's money well spent if it means the difference between leaving and staying in one's own home.

You may be able to find the care you need for your mobility issues at a long-term care or retirement home, but doing so will require you to leave the house you've loved for a while. However, with the help of a Reverse Mortgage, you can keep your independence and live in your own house by making the essential accessibility modifications and your family can visit you anytime they want.

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Mark Price
Director, Mark Price Mortgages

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