One of the many uses for reverse mortgage proceeds can be making home modifications to help a senior homeowner age in place and continue living in their home. A recent CNBC article spotlights six key home modification projects that are top of mind for elderly homeowners.
In the last year, 60% of staying-in-place seniors made upgrades to their homes with aging in mind, according to a recent survey from remodeling site Houzz, which was referenced in the CNBC article. Furthermore, among the quarter of seniors who upgraded a bathroom, 69% made an aging or accessibility upgrade.
The bathroom was a popular area of the home where seniors invested in modifications, according to responses in the Houzz survey. Common modifications included features to reduce trip and slip hazards, including installing slip-resistant flooring (20%) and putting in grab bars (26%).
Such additions can also be inexpensive, with MetLife’s Aging in Place workbook estimating that the installation of two grab bars costs $250.
But not all home mods come cheap. Room accessibility features, such as widening doors to better accommodate wheelchairs, carry a higher price tag naturally.
“You have to think about what’s going on inside of that wall,” said Katy Dodd, vice president of business development for Lifewise Renovations in Prairie Village, Kan., and also a certified aging-in-place specialist, in the CNBC article.
For instance, shifting electrical wiring, remodeling the flooring and buying a wider door can range between $1,200 to $5,000, Dodd said.
Other key home modifications seniors are thinking about include those that increase bathroom and kitchen functionality, whether that means raising the height of their toilet, adding a seat to the shower or tub, or lowering counter heights for better accessibility.
Read more about what other home medications seniors want to help them age in place.
Written by Jason Oliva