Financial Planning for Senior Home Safety

Tuesday, June 4, 2019, 6:00 PM | Leave Comment

Did you know that the average retiree spends $3,800 every single month? This amount is comprised of various expenses including housing, food, transportation, and of course, health care costs, which can be as high as $500 a month.

Are you planning your finances in such a way that you will have this money ready and available come your senior years?

If not, the sooner you start, the better off you will be. You may not realize it, but when seniors pay for health care, they usually aren’t just paying for insurance, but also the price of safety systems, home upgrades, and potential in-home medical care.

Take notice of this potential list of safety necessities and save accordingly.

Financial Planning for Senior Home Safety
Image Source: Pixabay

  • Planning for Indoor Safety

    Whether you are thinking about your own future or the safety of a parent, grandparent, or other senior in your life, you will need to have room in your long-term budget for home add-ons that focus on safety. This is particularly important if you live alone because with age comes new challenges with mobility, especially if you are faced with a dangerous scenario in your house.

    For instance, a potentially life-saving addition to the house is a medical alert system which can be used to reach emergency services should a senior injure themselves while they are home alone. The cost of a medical alert system can range from $20 to $60, depending on the available options.

    The bathroom is one of the most common places for injuries, especially for the elderly, but there are a few additions that can be made to the bathroom to decrease such incidents. To make life easier, you can purchase grab bars for inside the shower and near the toilet so the senior in your life can get around with ease.

    Some seniors have a tough time getting in and out of the tub, so a special bench or seat may be necessary. Those in wheelchairs may need to invest in a wheelchair-accessible shower, but keep in mind that these units can cost upwards of $6,000, so you will want to have enough money set aside.

    When we are younger, we often take stairs for granted, but for a safe home, those who live with mobility issues will need to spend money to make changes. If walking up the stairs is not an issue, then at least ensure that the railings are properly secured or if they need to be updated.

    If you fear that you won’t be able to get up the stairs at all, then a chair lift may be necessary, and with a cost close to $5,000, you will want to have your finances planned accordingly.

  • Safeguarding the Outdoors

    Just because people get older, doesn’t mean that they want to be cooped up inside all day, especially during those warm summer months. However, hazards can also loom in the front and back yard, so make sure you have secured funds for any new or upgraded safety needs.

    Sipping drinks out on the deck may be fun, but ensure that this space is secured with a safe and sturdy railing, particularly one made out of aluminum.

    An aluminum railing can add a nice accent to your deck, and it is also safer and easier to maintain. Wood railings used to be the norm, but they can rot and fall apart, and the last thing you need is a senior falling and hurting themselves due to a damaged railing.

    There is nothing quite like cooking tasty hamburgers and hot dogs out on the grill, but you also want to maintain a safe environment. Sometimes, the heat of the grill and the slower reaction time of some seniors can be a bad mix, so take money out of the budget to buy a heavy-duty apron and grilling mitts that are insulated and long-sleeved.

    Often, seniors and young people can be equally forgetful, but don’t forget to clean the grill after each use as leftover food and char can easily catch fire.

  • Invest in Home Care Services

    Even with all of the precautions that we have discussed, at some point, it may be necessary to hire a medical professional to come to your home to check on your well being and make necessary treatments.

    Seniors who have diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and general mobility issues can employ a home health nurse visit throughout the week to help where needed. Many of these aids can even provide at-home care 24/7.

    Even if a senior doesn’t have health concerns, there are many other available home services that can make their much easier. Those living alone without family close by can hire a household maintenance professional who can help fix things or assist with general housekeeping and grocery shopping.

    Many seniors love to drive, but at some point, it may not be safe to get behind the wheel. Luckily, you can also hire a professional who can be your personal driver or utilize services like Uber and Lyft.

    These services are beneficial because they offer peace of mind, allowing seniors to enjoy their lives rather than worrying about getting hurt doing these activities. However, you must factor the cost into your decision.

    Home healthcare nurses can cost around $125 a day, and even a role as basic as a personal grocery shopper can cost $20 per shopping trip, so it is essential that you are making smart financial decisions now to have the flexible income to pay for these services in the future, should they be needed.

When we are young and active, the idea of being short on cash during our senior years may not cause alarm. However, having money set aside for necessary repairs, additions, and services could be life saving and make your senior years more manageable and enjoyable.

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