If you ask people aged 50+ where they want to grow old, the vast majority will say their own home.  And the evidence bears out that your own home is a much cheaper alternative to residential centers.  So the question then becomes will your home allow you to “age in place”?  Safety, mobility, ease of maintenance, and ease of accomplishing daily tasks are the major issues to consider when deciding if your present home will continue to work for you.  It is a good idea to take an objective and critical look at these issues, just as you take inventory of your financial readiness for growing older, or updating your will.

You can contact your real estate professional to provide you with a referral to a licensed/certified home inspector who offers this service to 50+ clients.  You will receive a report on the features of your home that may need updating or modification to make your home more workable as you age.  There are many new inventions and technologies that can easily, and often inexpensively, be incorporated into your current home right away.  You also can plan some of these changes into your regular maintenance and updating of your home

If you already have some needs due to a change in health or mobility, it would be a good idea to have an assessment done before you decide to move to a more accessible home or to a residential center.  You can then compare the cost of modifying your present home with the other alternatives.  Once you decide to make the needed alterations to your home, it is a good idea to talk with your physician who could write a prescription that might allow for your health insurance or long-term care insurance to pay for some of the costs of the modifications.

Staying in your home as you age could be the best alternative for you.  Even with modification of your home, it can be cost effective and still allow you to maintain your independence.  And it certainly can provide the warmth and comfort of the place that you know and love.  Be sure you check out that possibility.