I'm adding this post to the #Blog4Care blog carnival being hosted by Caring Across Generations. We hope that by sharing our caregiving stories about the changes that we have made due to caregiving, we can begin to come up with solutions to the care crisis that is affecting millions of Americans. 🙂 For example, my senior mom and I have moved a few times in the last ten years, due to health issues in our extended family. It's been a blessing to us to be able to do this and an exciting adventure in each new city. Every time we've moved, my list of requirements for home searching has "morphed" a bit, as my grandkids and I love to say.
On our last journey, my list included:
- bathroom on the main floor
- bedroom on the main floor
- laundry room on the main floor
- kitchen on the main floor
- no smells from cigarettes/cigars
- safe neighborhood
- sidewalk for walking
Those were also on the previous list as well. Then came some morphing that we had to add as we house-hunted –
- bathroom on the main floor had to have a shower (we had the hardest time finding that!)
- there had to be an entrance to the house with a minimal amount of steps (preferably none, but we settled on two-three)
- a garage door with an opener (took us a while to get ours to work but finally – SWEET SUCCESS!)
- a new home with easier handles to use (we had to settle on an older home with enough updates to help my mom and happily, her area had the easier handles)
- a yard with a least a little garden for my mom and a play area for grandkids – and easy to walk in (two we looked at had rocks on the ground or bark on the whole yard – making it very unsafe for an elderly senior
- NO sunken living rooms (I had to say no to TWO houses I liked for just that reason)
We weren't able to get the sidewalks, but there are cul-de-sacs and walking trails relatively close. And my mom no longer walks alone so we were ok with that. I would have loved to add some other items to our list, however, such as:
- grab bars throughout the home
- ramps for at least one door, just in case we need it down the road
- other aging in place options
But, while handy for all ages, those aren't necessary for my senior mom. At least, not YET. And that's good because those can often be hard to find.
We're not ready to buy yet, but if we were, I did spot one very cool home for sale when one of the real estate agents in my office showed it off at our weekly meeting. It was GORGEOUS! An older home, 1953, it has been majorly and wonderfully updated. A lot of the floors are hardwood (nice for wheelchair use), coupled with ceramic tile, vinyl, and even some wall to wall carpet. Notice all the space in the kitchen – grand when you have to use a wheelchair like my dad did the last year of his life.
The master suite has a bathroom that is gorgeous. Most people would be drooling over the huge jetted tub. But my eyes were immediately drawn to the open walk-in shower with grab bars and a shower on a hose. PERFECT for a senior parent or two.
And oh my! My grandkids would be enthralled with the back yard that includes an athletic court and net for pickleball, tennis, basketball, and a wide variety of other sports.
With 2,291 square feet, this three bedroom (and office) home offers plenty of room for several options – from a senior couple aging in place to a multigenerational family caring for an aging parent and more. I'm sure the new owners are thrilled with it right now! And it gives us such a good example.
Those are the kinds of things I look for when house-hunting, whether to buy or to rent. How about you? What do you and your family look for as you deal with various caregiving needs? Have you looked at any 55+ senior communities? We have Sun City and The Club at Westpark by Del Webb here in Roseville CA, among other excellent options. How about your neck of the woods? We'd love to hear.