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by Debbie Ford

Everyone wants to be able to stay active and independent as they age but what does independence really look like? For many, staying in their home for the rest of their lives would mean that they have achieved true independence. For others, it might mean a move to something more manageable.

Staying in your home can be a great option as long as your home is equipped for aging-in-place. Since most homes aren’t built with all of the things you may need as you age, it can be costly to retrofit your home so that it’s safe and navigable.

You may need to change out carpet for hard surface flooring so it’s easier for you to get around, especially if you ever need a walker or a wheelchair. Those in wheelchairs will also need wider doorways and may need ramps to access parts of the home. Bathrooms should be equipped with grab bars near the toilet and bath or shower. You may need to install a taller toilet so it’s easier to get up and down. If stepping over the tub becomes an issue, you may need to remodel your bathroom to include a walk-in tub or shower. In addition to all of the accessibility issues, you also need to consider things like home maintenance, lawn care, meals and in-home assistance.

It's a good idea h

ave your house evaluated by a REALTOR who specializes in senior moves or a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) to help you decide what modifications you might need to make to your home to make it safer for staying put. When you start adding up the costs to do everything that might be needed to stay in your current home as you age, you may decide that true independence would be better achieved by making a downsizing move.

A smaller house in an Active 55+ community that is already equipped with many of the aging-in-place features might be a good option. An Active 55+ apartment can also be a good choice. There is no worry about home maintenance or lawn care so you have the ability to live that “lock and leave” lifestyle. Independent Living is also a great option, especially if you’d like

to have some of your meals included. Investigate what is out there. There are so many options available to older adults these days that you are bound to find something that fits your needs.

As you start to consider your options, you may decide that giving up your large, older home for a smaller, more manageable place is the best way for you to remain active and independent as you age. In addition to the physical benefits, you’ll likely also find that the social aspect of living in an active community of older adults is beneficial to your health.

If you’d like to find out more about ways you can continue to live independently, join us at our next Smart Senior Series seminar, “Be Sma

rt About Creating an Independent Lifestyle with Options.”

There are two chances to attend:

Arlington: June 9th at 2pm at the Lakeview Event and Conference Center at Viridian

Richardson: July 7th at 2pm at The SPOT at Celebration Magazine. To register, visit or call 817-635-1043.

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