In the Philippines, it’s uncommon for families to send their elderly loved ones off to retirement facilities, choosing to tend to them at home instead. But if they still want to live independently and care for themselves, you need to know how to choose a property that’ll accommodate their needs.
Smaller property. If only one or two aged family members will be occupying the property, it would be best to choose a small home to make upkeep easier on them. Scale back on the outdoor space too: choose a home with a small yard for trouble-free maintenance, or one where yard work is handled by a homeowner’s association.
Bungalow. Senior citizens with limited mobility or are confined to wheelchairs would feel more comfortable living in a one-level home so they won’t have to navigate stairs everyday. Same goes for those looking at condos or apartments: choose units located at the lowest floor to lessen the use of stairs.
Wide halls and doorways. They might not be in a wheelchair now, but if they do end up needing one in the future, you need to make sure that the corridors and entryways are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.
Fitness-friendly features. Health problems that come with aging can include back pain, which limits movement. Check if the cupboards, cabinets, kitchen counters, and cooking surfaces are at the right height to make reaching pain-free and safe. Also, their grip might not be a strong as before due to their age and health condition, so homes with windows that open easily, swinging doors, and doors with levers instead of knobs get extra points.
Low cost of living. In most cases, older people are retired and living on their pension. They need assurance that they can stretch their nest egg as far as it can go, so comparing costs from city to city will help you narrow down your choices in terms of location.
Nice neighbors. If your elderly family member spends much of their time at home, they’re going to feel lonely, so choose a home within a community where they can socialize with others. As an added bonus, neighbors can look in on them once in a while and alert you in case of an emergency.
Good public transport. Bad eyesight can keep senior citizens from doing any more driving, so it’s necessary for them to live in a place that’s close to various kinds of transportation.
Close proximity to the town. Whether they’re driving or taking the bus, an aged person won’t want to spend a long time in a vehicle getting to the bank or the mall. Make sure you choose a location where necessary establishments are nearby, even close enough to walk to.
Excellent medical facilities. With age can come deteriorating health, so it’s necessary for the elderly to live close to hospitals and clinics offering great medical services. This will let them stop by whenever they need to even without you having to take them.
These tips don’t just apply to retirees wanting to live alone; if your plan is to have them live with you, it would also be a good idea to move to a place that meets these criteria if your current home doesn’t. If the property you do find doesn’t fit your elderly loved one’s needs to an absolute T, you’ll have to do the necessary adjustments yourself, but it’ll be a small price to pay if it means they’ll be safe and comfortable.
Sources: landlords.about.com, realestate.msn.com