Do you consider your home your forever home?
According to the Federal Housing Administration, about 90% of homeowners want to stay in their current homes as they enter their golden years. However, to do that — many older adults need to make some home upgrades in order to live healthy and stay safe.
Ellyn Lubel, 82, loves her DeWitt home. She particularly enjoys sitting in her living room doing crossword puzzles.
“Hopefully keeps my mind going,” said Lubel.
The retired teacher moved into her home with her late husband Mitchell in 1966. She spent a lifetime raising her family in the home. Now, even with the house to herself, she’s decided to stay rather than move into a smaller dwelling.
“My children, there’s room for them if they come home and grandchildren. If they want to stay here overnight there’s room for them, which I would not have in a much smaller place,” said Lubel.
However, maintaining her home isn’t easy. But, Lubel does it well and has even added some features to make it easier for her to move around. She recently got an in-home assessment to get some tips on how improve her home for her own safety.
Mike Ritter is an experienced physical therapist and the Rehabilitation Director at PACE CNY. He visits the homes of PACE program participants and will suggest everything from removing hazards and changing toilets to adding grab bars and widening doorways.
“Bathrooms are always important to look at. Because a lot of falls tend to happen there,” said Ritter.
While PACE provides assessments for those in the program, Ritter suggested others talk to their doctor about how they can get an assessment as well.
“Having an assessment from a therapist whether it’s through, typically you’ll see it through home care, or through PACE. If you’re not a member of PACE, then you would have to get a referral and go into home care and that’s how you could get that assessment,” said Ritter.
And that review can prove to be essential for those who want to stay in their home safely without a risk.
“Most people want that. They’ve lived in their homes a long time. And, that’s where they really want to be," Ritter said.
Folks like Lubel who have certainly gotten comfortable right where they are.
“I really wanted to stay home,” Lubel said.
PACE CNY participants can get an in-home safety assessment.
PACE is a not-for-profit corporation of Loretto, which has provided long-term care services to the elderly and disabled since 1926.