Accessible Home Living: Aging and Illness-Friendly Solutions

Do You Want To Enjoy Living In Your Own Home Even When Age Or Illness Makes It Harder To Get Around?

When you enter your senior-citizen years, or begin having health problems, it can be hard to know what to do about your housing. Many older folks want to stay at home, rather than move into a retirement facility, but they worry about things like navigating the stairs, or maintaining the yard.

The good news is that you have several different options:

  1. Modify your home to make it easier to live in. For example, you could install a washer/dryer upstairs or in the garage, so you don’t have to go into the basement to do laundry. 
2-bedroom condo in Shoreline 98133 Laundry Room
2-bedroom condo in Shoreline 98133 Laundry Room

You could install a no-step shower or bathtub to avoid accidents in the bathroom. You can also use a stair lift or wheelchair ramp to help you get around problematic stairways.  A reverse mortgage or home equity line of credit can be one way to pay for these types of improvements. 

2. Hire supportive care for daily tasks. Another option some people explore is bringing in a nurse or caretaker to help them with every day items. 

I have a good friend, Jan, who works in this industry, and she helps people with chores, errands, and health maintenance as well as providing company and companionship for folks who can’t easily get out to see friends and family. 

If you’re not sure you have the money for this, a Reverse Mortgage might provide a solution that would increase your monthly income, without forcing you to move.

3. Sell your home for a more comfortable home.

A third option is to consider selling your existing home and moving into a home that will be easier for you to live in.  For example, many people look to a single-level condominium or house as a solution to continue independent living.  

2-bedroom condominium in Lynnwood
2-bedroom condominium in Lynnwood

It can be hard to say goodbye to a home you’ve enjoyed, but it’s also hard to be a wife whose husband is in the hospital and you’re not sure if you’ll be able to care for him at home when he comes back, due to his limited mobility after surgery.  This happens more than you might think. 

It’s best not to wait too long to act, especially if you’ve already begun having health issues that you think may create ongoing concerns.

For some, downsizing is an exciting transition to something new and a more carefree way of life.  My grandma couldn’t wait to move after my grandfather died.

For others, it is a melancholy time of transition.  

No matter how you’re feeling about it, we respect your emotional journey and are here to help make the move as smooth as possible, if you do end up wanting to buy or sell real estate.

Emily Cressey

Emily Cressey is a real estate broker residing in Lake Forest Park, WA who services the Greater Seattle area including Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Brier, Lynnwood, Kenmore, Bothell and Edmonds, WA.

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