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When planning for retirement, it’s important to consider the layout and features of the home where you’ll spend your golden years. Seniors face a higher risk of injuries and falls than the general population, and the potential for reduced mobility and other health issues can make it difficult to do cleaning and other chores. If you’re planning for retirement, keep the items below on your senior home checklist.

Size

Downsizing your home in retirement can be very helpful. CubeSmart explains that by relocating to a smaller home, you’ll have less space to clean, heat, and take care of, and this can save money and give you more time to do things you enjoy. If you’re looking to downsize, carefully research potential homes and neighborhoods, and ask a real estate agent for assistance.

Stairs

Stairs can be especially dangerous for seniors, and they create a serious risk of falls. Stonegate Custom Homes explains that having to go up multiple flights of stairs with bad hips or knees will be a major issue for many during their retirement years, so finding a home without stairs, like a ranch home, is a good idea. By choosing a home with no stairs, you’ll be able to significantly reduce your risk of falling or injury and have added peace of mind. Homes without stairs will also allow you to easily make any adaptations that might be necessary if you get injured or have reduced mobility as you age. For example, if you ever need to use a wheelchair, cane, or walker, you’ll be able to use these on a level surface, improving your stability. You also won’t need to pay for a wheelchair ramp to be added to your home.

Bathroom

According to Today’s Caregiver, bathrooms are typically the most dangerous room in the home for seniors, and numerous slips, falls, and fractures occur in this room. To make the bathroom as safe as possible, it’s important to modify the shower or bathtub. For example, seniors might wish to install a walk-in tub that can be easily used by those with reduced mobility. Alternatively, installing several grab bars in the shower or tub and using a shower or bath chair can help seniors who struggle with balance. Using a handheld shower sprayer with its own on-off button is typically easier than using a traditional shower head, especially for those with conditions where standing is a problem.

By keeping these home tips on your retirement planning checklist, you’ll be setting yourself up to make the most of your golden years and live independently for a long time. With as important as this is going to be, it’s essential to give it the time and attention it deserves. Planning now will save you from untold complications in the future.