- The Foundation For Peripheral Neuropathy - https://www.foundationforpn.org -

Move or Modify: Home Choices for Patients with Peripheral Neuropathy

Mobility issues and changes in health often bring up big questions on home choices for patients with peripheral neuropathy.   Whether it is because of mobility issues caused by peripheral neuropathy or other chronic conditions or simply because of a natural progression of aging, many people face the need to decide to either modify the home they are in or to move to a new home to accommodate their changing needs.  The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy [1] got some good advice from two experts on the subject, John Glenn (Broker, Senior Real Estate Specialist) and Christina Beasley (Broker and Senior Care Expert).

What to look for:  Is my home S.A.F.E.?

The National Association of Real Estate Professionals’ SRES Council recommends reviewing your home and your neighborhood for the following factors:

In the Home In the Community
Safety Does the home have elements that present risk such as dim lighting, steep stairs, no hand rails, clutter, frayed wiring or structural problems Is the neighborhood safe?
Access Are family and friends nearby?  Is it easy to get in and out of the home? Are cabinets, closets, and other storage accessible? Are shopping and services accessible?  Can the resident access these areas without driving?
Fits Needs Does the house still fit the needs of the homeowners? Can the owners handle the repair and maintenance of the home? Does the community provide support for aging in place?
Ease of Use Can doors and hallways accommodate a walker or wheelchair?  Can home features be added or modified Does the community infrastructure promote ease of movement
Source: The National Association of Real Estate Professional’s Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) Council

What’s next?

After a review of your home and the community comes the next difficult decision:

“Aging or Living in Place”: If you decide to stay in your current home, what are some of the changes or modifications you can make?

One of the key considerations in modifying your home is to make changes that improve accessibility without detracting from the resale value of the home.  Universal Design Standards is the industry term for modifications that are designed to meet the needs of all users.  If undergoing a major home renovation, it might be worth finding a contractor or agent who is familiar with these standards to help you decide the balance between personal modifications and general standards to preserve the resale value of your home.

Recommended modifications:

And if you decide to downsize…

If you decide that the time is right to move to a smaller, easily accessible home, these should be on your ‘look for’ list:

Resources:

There are many resources available to learn more about Aging in Place, Universal Design, and specialists in these areas.   Here are just a few:

Additionally, most local, state and federal agencies focused on senior care will have a wealth of information on Aging in Place.   Likewise, agencies focused on accessibility or physical disabilities will have information on home modifications and products for accessibility.

A new guide has become available on home modifications by the Administration for Community Living and the ElderCare locator.  You can view Modifying Your Home for Healthy Aging here [7].

In Summary

The questions around Aging and Living in Place are big ones.   It does require time and advance planning- and expertise few of us have.  Luckily, the resources to find this expertise are many and available.  The experts we spoke with all advised, “Don’t be afraid to ask”.

Thanks to John Glenn, Broker and Senior Real Estate Specialist (www.GlennConnection [8].com) and Christina Beasley, Broker and Senior Care Specialist (www.HomesbyChristinaBeasley.com [9], www.yourseniorcarechoice.com [10]) for their input, expertise, and resources.   Both John and Christine are affiilated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in St. Charles, Illinois.
Information also sourced from SRES Council (www.sres.com) [11]