For all the new retirement living options that exist today, one thing is for sure: none of us want to give up a long time residence until we are good and ready. The reasons vary from, “I like where I am thank you very much” to “no one is going to take my independence from me” to “you can bloody well wait for your inheritance!”
Here at Olderhood we applaud all nature of defiance and independence, but we also preach common sense and safety. After all, let’s face it; that charming ranch style bungalow that you purchased in 1960 is now as aged as you are, and some simple repairs would only be practical. The potential problems that you might unknowingly be living with include: lead paint, carbon monoxide from a faulty furnace, asbestos, insecure door locks, faulty wiring, old fuse boxes, inadequate exterior lighting, foundation cracks, worn stairs, and single pane windows.
It does not always take a lot to make an older home a safe home, but you do need to educate yourself regarding the potential hazards lurking right under your nose. For example, did you know that a seemingly insignificant cracked porcelain toilet can spontaneously burst unleashing an unending geyser of water that can flood the entire floor of your house? (A sight so horrific it has to be seen to be fully appreciated – which unfortunately I have). Were you aware that the leaky outside tap can freeze solid in cold weather in such a way that the ice travels up the inside of the pipe, bursting the pipe somewhere deep within the interior wall of your house? I could go on and on.
So what it comes down to is this – you can live out your golden years with that avocado refrigerator that seemed like a great idea in 1972, but one way or another the batteries in the smoke detector must get replaced.
Want to give your house the once over and don’t know where to start? Contact a licensed home inspector (yes the same scary fellow who would be sniffing about your house if you were going to sell it) and get him to take you around and explain what he finds including prioritizing any items that need to be urgently addressed. There are also companies that specializing in retrofitting grab bars in bathrooms and locks on doors, and security systems to make it easier for older people to be safe in their own homes.
To read a bit more regarding some of the topics mentioned above start here: http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-home/make-your-old-home-safe.aspx?xid=salesnl_7120_20130607