I consider this a "positioning" article because I realize that no one is rushing to move - especially Seniors. With that in mind, my goal is to offer the support necessary for Seniors to stay in place and to leverage my relationship with them and their families to become the listing agent when the inevitable time to move occurs.
The following article is brief synopsis of what ‘aging in place" is all about:
The pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout ones maturing years gives a sense of security and a peace of mind. And while the aging process is blamed for many problems Seniors may encounter with daily activities, often it is the home that creates the difficulties. Most residential housing is designed for young, active and mobile people. Builders fail to take into account age-related conditions such as reduced mobility or limited range of reach. Hence, dwellings do not support the physical and sensory changes that we all will encounter as we age. What appear to be insignificant home features can have significant effect: for a person with even minor aging issues.
To live at home and "to age in place" safely, independently, and comfortably one must, at the very least, be able to be self sufficient enough to enjoy the daily routine and rituals that give structure, order and pleasure to the activities of daily life (ADL) and have access to transportation and shopping, and be able to do minimal household chores. Note, I am not addressing the lawn, the clogged gutters, the dirty windows or the leaky roof because there are professional companies designed to provide us with an army of handymen who for a fee will hopefully arrive on time and help with these house hold chores.
According to AARP, more than 80% of the senior population will "age in place" and most will experience housing issues that must be confronted at some point. Many avoid home modifications and helpful technology items designed for people with disabilities because these products have an industrial appearance. No one wants to have their home look like a hospital. However, consumer demand and computer technology have pushed institutional products to be redesigned to be more acceptable in the home. The experts in this growing vocation are the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS), builders who have completed a course of study in adaptive modifications of homes. These alterations can be as simple as installing "decorative" grab bars in the bath rooms to ensure balance, removing area rugs to eliminate tripping, simply increasing the wattage on the light bulbs for failing vision, or even just changing door knobs to handles for arthritic hands.
If the Seniors you know intend to remain in their current residence, you could help them plan now for future customizations to add the changes as needed to maintain their quality of life.
Being in control provides the underpinning to ones' feelings of dignity, quality of life and independence. And as Realtors we are advocates that a person's home is a strong element in that sense of security.
My market is the environs of Montgomery County, MD, Washington DC and Northern VA - specifically, but not limited to Bethesda, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Rockville, Friendship Heights, Geogetown, Rosslyn, McLean. However, I know aging in place is universal; and with finances being what they currently are, more Seniors will be forced to spend their golden years in place.