Aging in Place in Your
Own Home Could be Ideal!
But the Question is Should you!
Many San Diego seniors have enjoyed being in good health and managing their finances for decades when suddenly they find themselves behind the eight ball. The world keeps changing around them, health issues arise, and memories becomes less reliable and even keeping up with doctor's appointments and finances is a whole lot more complicated. It is confusing and demoralizing, to say the least. Let's fix that!
Every day there is cooking, eating, dishes, house work, bathing, the mail, and other chores. Seniors can find themselves without the energy needed to keep up with it daily so chores pile up into a mess. This can lead to feelings of isolation, lack of energy, and feeling overwhelmed and withdrawn. Those negative feelings combined with a messy house is a recipe for a disaster. Add a medication or two and a trip or fall is way more likely. Nobody wants that, everybody wants safety. Don't become another statistic!
Safety isn't only about being physically safe in your home but equally important it is about emotional safety and financial safety. Every situation is unique, there is no "one size fits all" solution. It is vital to create a solution that respects the absolute need for physical safety, emotional well being, and financial security while preserving the senior's sense of identity.
But before we talk about removing the senior from their home (expensive), or bringing in helpers (expensive) we need to see if we can make some adjustments to the home, and/or the finances, which will allow them to continue to age in place, at least a while longer. Often times seniors find themselves upside down financially before the family learns ever about it and can avert disaster. Sometimes this can even lead to the senior losing the home to foreclosure. Here is a story about how aging in place worked out very well for one senior after he decided to cooperate.
The gentleman was a widower who just didn't have quite enough income to pay mortgage payments, property taxes, water, gas and lights, and eat but he had lots of equity. Equity rich and cash poor. He was slipping behind on payments, his home was stuffed to the gills and a mess, and in order to eat he had stopped making his tax payments. When we looked at his situation we all agreed that a reverse mortgage was a great idea. It would pay off his existing mortgage, pay off some other small loans, put cash in his bank account, and provide him with monthly payments for life! He could literally eat without sacrificing his finances The problem that we faced was that the solution required a physical appraisal of the property and the chores had pile up so much (see my article on Clutter) There was no way an appraiser could be done without the house being cleared out first!
The end of this story was awesome! We were able to get the house cleaned out for the appraisal and the house was no longer a disaster! She could live in her own home without fear of falling. He kept most of his nice furniture and proudly gave many of his fond memories and some antiques to his kids and grand kids. He was now happy, safe, and financially secure, and once again he had a home he was proud of and had family and friends over to visit often.
We can't predict that each case will turn out with the senior staying in the home, but it is worth a good college try!
Together we will discuss which actions we need to be take to protect the senior physically, emotionally and financially. This involves a meeting with the family and the senior and is usually followed up by subsequent meetings with the senior talking about what needs to be done and how they would like to see it happen so we can together develop a timeline. The family normally remains in the loop at all times, depending on relations.
A question facing seniors and family is how I get paid when resources are already scarce. After our initial meeting and the assessment we can figure out how much it will cost. If the work is done as part of the listing and sales process our fee can be added to the listing fee. Otherwise we can agree on a consulting type fee basis and figure out where to get the money from.
Normally any consulting fees that have been paid are credited to the sales commissions when the house finally is sold.
Call me, email me or submit the form below and I would be honored to listen to you and put together a solid workable plan that suits your needs.
Steve Innis, Broker/Owner Clairemont Realty
Senior Real Estate Specialist