The population of the country is aging. There’s no way to avoid this harsh reality.
Downsizing An Aging Population
According to a 2014 U.S. Census Bureau’s report, “The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060”: “The baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011 and are now driving growth at the older ages of the population. By 2029, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 years and over, more than 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be over the age of 65.”
Another important statistic is that more an more baby boomers are opting to continue living in their homes. They enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with it. However, you should consider the difference between living in the home you raised a family in and living in a more manageable, downsized home.
If you raised a family, you probably have a home with at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on a piece of land at least an acre. Now that the kids have grown and moved out, that’s more house than you probably need and more yard than you have the time, strength or energy to care for.
Features to Consider When Downsizing
People between the ages of 55 to 65 should consider re-evaluating their housing situations. Are you still living in a home that will be suited to your lifestyle for the next 20 years?
Single Story vs. Two Story
Stairs are generally a bad thing for an aging at home person. Unless you plan on installing a stair lift to get from the first floor to the second floor, you should consider downsizing to a single story home. This will greatly reduce a persons potential for falls.
Bathroom Safety Features
Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t recommend the installation of a walk in tub. If you install a walk in tub in a typical 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, it could negatively affect resale value as most “family style” homes haven’t a need for a walk in tub. Downsize to a single bathroom home and then you could up the resale by the installation of such a tub.
Home Automation Elements
Another thing to consider is adding some home automation elements to the house. As we age, we may forget to turn lights off in unused portions of the house which can raise our electric bills as well as decrease the overall security of the home.
Regardless of whether you continue to live in the same house you raised your children in or if you decide to downsize, you need to always make sure the house is as safe as possible for your own peace of mind and that of your caregivers.