Those of us who reach old age know that doing so isn’t easy. We work hard all our lives to enjoy our golden years, paying off our mortgages and building our careers so that we can live in comfort and enjoy the fruits of our labors. So few things can be as frustrating as finding that our own homes – the ones that we’ve worked so hard to pay for – are becoming difficult to maintain or even to navigate safely.
Frustrating as they may be, though, these problems are often solvable. While we may not be as spry or as healthy as we once were, we’re still capable of keeping up with our homes needs and making it as safe as possible for our daily life. Here’s how to manage your home in your golden years.
Regular maintenance: How to do the stuff you’ve always done, but more easily
First up is regular maintenance. This is something that you’ve been managing for years – hopefully, anyway – but that can become surprisingly frustrating when you reach old age.
For tasks that we do ourselves, it’s not hard to see why things are getting tougher. Climbing a ladder to clean the gutters feels a lot better at 30 than it does at 70!
But even tasks that we’ve long delegated to others can be frustrating. Our minds work in curious ways, and when we change our patterns, our lives can be disrupted. Perhaps you were reminded to winterize the sprinkler system by some small seasonal change at work, and now that you’re retired, the tasks are skipped. Or maybe, like many couples, you and your spouse fell into a rhythm of dividing routine tasks – meaning that the passing of a spouse becomes a logistical problem as well as a personal tragedy.
Whatever the situation, the solution is the same: it’s time to get organized. What you’ll need is a calendar, your phone book, and a piece of paper (or the computer equivalent of each of these). It’s time get the maintenance schedule all down in one place, on one calendar, and to get your trusted contractors on one list. The time to find a plumber is now, not when your sink is spraying water all over your kitchen! Find a reliable team like the one at Miranda Home Services, and remember that quality work will save you money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary repairs down the line.
And find someone to do each of the tasks you once did yourself, too – you’ve earned a safe and comfortable retirement, and that doesn’t include falling off of a ladder, okay?
If you organize your maintenance in one place, it will be easier to keep up with your home. If your maintenance hasn’t become a problem yet, good – but do this anyway. It will stave off future issues and will be an invaluable resource to your loved ones if you pass away.
Special needs for seniors’ homes: tips for managing space and safety
It makes sense that our homes can be more dangerous as we grow older. Seniors are more prone to illness and injury – that’s why there’s a whole industry revolving around us, including medicare, medicare supplement plans, Medicare risk adjustments, and a sea of red tape and acronyms and government policies and programs. It’s all very complicated. Unfortunately, your home is getting more complicated, too. What was safe for you at 40 won’t be safe for you at 80, so it’s time to take a careful look at your home.
Bad plumbing once meant leaks and burst pipes. Now it means the perfectly functional fixtures – like the bath and shower – that now represent huge dangers to your body. These fixtures are bad for you and for your needs. And they might not be the only things in your home that are dangerous: stairs (and single steps, and recessed living rooms) represent fall dangers, and things as simple as sharp edges on chairs and glass in tables can become very dangerous for seniors.
It’s time to fix this. Start by listing the dangers in your home. Include everything you can think of. Then decide who can solve each problem. You’ll need a contractor to install a stairlift or a new standing tub, but you might be able to buy a ramp for the recessed living room yourself. Invest in an emergency contact device like LifeAlert to minimize the dangers of your next fall, and click here for more tips of fall-proofing your home without breaking the bank.