For many older Australians, the emotional value of their home is huge. Their well-being is positively driven by strong financial health and many feel safest in their own home, with almost 9 in 10 of respondents in a recent survey reporting that their sense of security at home was good (35%) or very good (53%). It comes as no surprise that for most older Australians, their family home is where they are and where they want to stay. However, ageing in place is only a good idea if your home is retirement ready – so what exactly does that mean? Check out our age in place design checklist to discover:
Is your home retirement ready?
‘Retirement readiness’ can mean different things to different people. For some, it may mean a full renovation to create open spaces or a low-maintenance garden to allow for future mobility needs. For others, it might be the installation of rails and non-slip surfaces for maximum accessibility and safety. Whatever it may be, the first step to understanding whether your home is ready for you to age in place is going room by room and doing an audit of what isn’t safe, comfortable or simply easy to use in your day-to-day. Doing so will help you determine what modifications you might need – now and in the future – to continue living well at home no matter your age.
Retirement readiness checklist
When it comes to making your home retirement ready, planning early is always a good idea, as is evaluating all your options (including care and support services) and preparing for your financial needs as you grow older. Including simple modifications to consider for each room, the retirement readiness checklist below is a great starting point for anyone contemplating ageing in place:
An open floor plan with few obstructions
No floor rugs, as they can be a tripping hazard
Non-slip surfaces indoors and out
Grab bars near the toilet in the bath and shower
Adjusting the height of surfaces, benches and sink
A hands-free tap, or one with a lever rather than traditional taps
Rund edges on the bench
Large soft close drawers
Bedroom & wardrobe
A low-profile or adjustable bed
Bedside tables at the same height as the bed
Pull-down rods in the wardrobe
Good lighting in the wardrobe
Front load washer and dryer, raised above floor level to ensure easy access
Avoid high and hard-to-reach shelving or cupboard
Laundry chute if a multi-level house
Low maintenance plants
Raised garden beds for the keen gardeners
Non-slip materials used on decks and paths
Easy access seating
How can you use your Household Capital™ to age in place?
Every modification we listed above comes with associated costs. You can read our budgeting article to learn how to project the costs of ageing in place and determine how you can meet your financial needs.
Home equity can play a key role in helping with these expenses. By accessing the wealth built up in your home over time - your Household Capital™ - you can fund the renovations you may need to age in place. You can also use it to pay for mobility aids, medical and dental expenses, or in-home care and support. However you choose to use your home equity, you can Live Well At Home™ safely and comfortably, for as many years as you choose.
Download our free ‘Ageing in Place’ e-guide and discover even more age in place design tips and ways to make your home retirement-ready. Want to discover how much you could borrow to fund your renovations? Try our easy-to-use reverse mortgage calculator today.
Applications for credit are subject to eligibility and lending criteria. Fees and charges are payable and terms and conditions apply (available on request). Household Capital Pty Limited is a credit representative (512757) of Mortgage Direct Pty Limited ACN 075 721 434. Australian Credit Licence 391876.
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