Is it Worth Remodeling Your Home for an Elder Parent?

Increasingly, older adults are moving in with their children. Whether for companionship, social health, or increased care needs, these moves are becoming ever more common. But if you have an ageing parent, this move may not be what’s best for you, especially if they have specific health and mobility needs. Many parents will require home modifications in order to live comfortably in your house – anything from replacing doorknobs with levers to installing a motorized chair lift on your staircase.

There are a lot of factors to think through if you’re considering remodeling your home to accommodate an elder parent. If they need more support than a simple alert system , ask yourself the following questions.

  • What is their level of mobility?
  • How much money will you need to spend to make your home accessible?
  • How much time will you need to complete the renovations?
  • Do you have the time, emotional bandwidth, and financial security to care for your parent?

We’ve found that, despite the best of intentions, most people simply don’t have the resources and ability to make these changes to their homes. While a home remodel may be impossible, however, don’t despair – there are other options to suit your ageing parent’s needs.

The Consequences of a Senior-Friendly Remodel

While it may be difficult to think about, know that whatever remodeling you do to accommodate an elderly parent will eventually become useless. While it may be valuable while your parent is alive, they will, at some point, move to an elder care facility or pass on. Once they leave, either physically or spiritually, you’ll need to live with your senior-friendly remodel or undo the features you’ve installed.

It’s also important to understand your return on investment. Even if you decide to keep the senior-friendly features installed in your home, they may need to be removed when you eventually sell the house. Most people buying homes are in their mid-30’s, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors®. This demographic is too young to make use of the ADA-compliant equipment themselves, and in many cases, their parents will be too young to take advantage of them.

Long-term plans are never easy to think through. But, if you’re contemplating spending several thousand dollars to widen hallways, install a stair lift, and put in a ramp, you’ll need to think ahead as clearly as possible.

Alternatives to an Elder-Friendly Remodel

So, you’re not sure if you can afford a senior-friendly home remodel, but mom or dad still needs additional help. In many cases, a long-term care facility may be the best option. These living accommodations are designed with seniors in mind. There are several types of senior-friendly long-term care facilities – from retirement communities, for those who still want independence, to nursing homes, which are staffed by medical professionals. If you and your parent decide that one of these residential communities is best, you won’t need to worry about creating a senior-friendly home, caring for the parent yourself, or sinking thousands of dollars into a temporary living solution.

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