Advice to Save Money and Safely Age in Place

While thousands of senior citizens move to nursing homes or retirement communities once they reach old age every year, some may actually prefer to age in place, or stay in their home as long as possible, as they grow older.

Average life expectancy has dramatically increased across the world, and today’s healthcare and medical technology allow those with debilitating illnesses to live for longer. Getting the best home insurance for seniors is important to ensure coverage in case anything goes wrong or takes an unexpected turn for the worst.

For senior citizens who decide to forgo the option of moving into a senior community, there are features and renovations you can build into your existing home that make it a safer, more enjoyable alternative.

Many of these features aren’t typically included in single-family homes when they are newly built, which is why they would need to be added for seniors looking to age safely at home and prepare for Medicare costs.

Here are four different types of home features that can make it safer for seniors to age safely in place.

#1 – Open-Flow Floor Plans

This type of floor plan is great for seniors who use mobility devices such as canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters. The extra space afforded by these floor plans makes it easier to get around while using a mobility device.

Since there aren’t as many walls in the way, seniors have less chance of falling or hurting themselves. Loose rugs should also be removed in these open-flow floor plans to prevent slipping and falling.

#2 – Safer Flooring Options

The best flooring options for seniors are slip-resistant. Even if seniors use mobility aids, they may still fall and seriously hurt themselves. This is why they must have safe flooring options. Slip-resistant flooring options help seniors get around safely.

Certain types of flooring are more slippery than others. Hardwood flooring is slippery, especially while wearing socks or slippers. Carpeting is a good choice for some areas of the house, especially bedrooms, and linoleum is also a great choice for seniors as it’s softer than hardwood flooring.

#3 – Step-Free Entrance to Home

Having a step-free home entrance is great for seniors. This way, seniors can get into their homes more easily without having to worry about a nasty trip and fall. It’s especially helpful for seniors who live in regions that experience all four seasons.

During the colder months, snow and ice can form on steps and create a fall risk. For seniors who live in colder climates, not having steps is a better way to age safely in place.

#4 – Bathroom Safety

It’s incredibly important for the bathroom to be as safe as possible for seniors, especially since the space can easily get wet. Many safety features can be added to the bathroom to help senior citizens safely age in place.

Grab bars can be installed near the toilets and in the showers. If there’s a bathtub, it can be converted to a walk-in tub. You can add a non-slip coating to the floor of the bathtub or shower. Finally, the toilet can be assembled higher than average for easier usage and comfort.

Insurance Options for Seniors

Now that your home is properly prepared for your journey of aging in place, it’s time to take a look at the insurance possibilities.

Many insurance companies offer savings and discounts to those who are retired. They even have dividend policies that pay a certain percentage of your annual premium back to you every year. Senior life insurance can also often be purchased on a budget.

For instance, AARP’s home insurance for seniors program, provided through The Hartford, allows seniors to custom-tailor their policy to their specific needs. It’s also an affordable option for those with lower incomes.

Policyholders can save up to 20% by bundling up AARP’s auto insurance and home insurance as well as receive a discount if they’re retired or work fewer than 24 hours a week.

Allstate’s policies most likely offer discounts to seniors who are 55 and older, though the exact amount can vary from state to state. AARP members who receive a home insurance policy from Allstate are entitled to benefits such as credit on their home insurance premium if they are retired or working fewer than 24 hours a week.

Finally, Amica, the home insurance provider that offers a dividend policy, pays you 5% to 20% of your annual premium back to you every year. The policy costs more upfront but may help you save in the long run.

Luke Williams writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. His passions include writing about insurance, senior care, and other ways senior citizens can age safely and spend smartly.

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