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Tips for Dog-Owning Seniors Who Are Ready to Downsize
Are you and your canine companion planning a transition to a smaller, easier-to-maintain home? Sometimes downsizing can be a big relief for seniors who own dogs, but figuring out how to piece everything together can be stressful. Here’s how you and your pooch can find the perfect place and make that lifestyle change comfortably.
Many people think their best lifestyle options are pretty limited as they approach their golden years, but there are more choices for seniors than ever before. For instance, if you’re in a situation where you still enjoy general independence, but could use a hand with a few tasks through the day, assisted living might be an ideal solution. It’s a full, well-rounded lifestyle option for seniors who just need a bit of help.
In an assisted living situation, you still can come and go as you please, participate in planned activities, and enjoy access to amenities like transportation and laundry service. On top of that, staff can help you with activities of daily living, such as eating meals, dressing, grooming, and mobility issues. It’s a safe option for those who need a little extra support to stay on the go.
Safe options for Fido
One concern many seniors have is what will happen to their pets if they move into an assisted living situation. Thankfully, some facilities allow pets. With that in mind, it’s helpful to start researching in advance, so you can find your favorite options in the area to meet your and your pup’s needs. Note that facilities in St. Pete cost an average of $1,500 to $11,430 per month.
If you are unable to find an assisted living situation you like that also accepts pets, planning ahead allows you time to find a good home for your dog. If no friends or family members are interested in taking in your pooch, consider contacting an animal welfare group. Many shelters and rescue groups are no-kill, and will work to find a perfect home for your dog. You can use this search tool to see what is in your area, and vet any groups you’re considering to ensure your dog goes to a safe place.
Smaller home, bigger life
Downsizing to a smaller house is a terrific option for many seniors. It’s often a chance to lighten the workload that goes with home ownership, as well as the financial burden involved with tending a large house. Dave Ramsey points out by freeing yourself from bigger utility bills, tax payments, and so on, a well-planned downsize can be just the ticket to living a fuller life throughout your golden years. If your current home is paid for, you might want to use money from the sale to purchase a new home, pay off other debts, and pad your nest egg for the future - and maybe invest in more toys and treats for Fido!
Best for both of you
Beyond financial freedom, you want a home environment both you and your dog will enjoy. Looking toward your future, it’s smart to aim for senior-friendly home designs. This Old House explains many of the features which enhance living for seniors are inexpensive, easy to add, and are often appreciated by people of all ages. For example, non-slip flooring, lever-style handles on faucets and doors, and good lighting can go a long way toward improving comfort and safety. You should also make sure there is an appropriate bathroom on the main floor with things like a taller toilet, grab bars, and room to navigate with a walker.
Along with being senior-friendly, you want to search for a property that is dog-friendly. For instance, dog owners often prefer features such as a fenced yard, pet-friendly neighborhood, and walkable sidewalks. List your priorities, and look for a home that meshes both Fido’s and your best interests.
Downsizing can be a terrific transition for seniors and their dogs. For best results, make notes of the features that will be priorities. With great preparation and research, you can find an ideal housing option for you both.
Carrie Spencer created TheSpencersAdventures.net to share her family’s homesteading adventures. On the site, she shares tips on living self-sufficiently, fruit and vegetable gardening, parenting, conservation, and more. She and her wife have 3 kids, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 3 goats, 32 chickens, and a whole bunch of bees. Their goal to live as self-sufficiently and environmentally-consciously as possible.
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay
Some Crucial Things You Should Do to Improve Your Move to an Accessible Home
Whether you’re trying to find your first accessible home or one that’s even better suited to meet your needs than your current accessible home, the process of finding the right one and getting it move-in ready can be a tough one. It’s okay to need some help, so don’t be afraid to ask. Here are some tips to make things go a little more smoothly.
Boost Your Credit Score ASAP
Don’t delay, as it takes time to truly improve your credit score. The best way to improve your score is to make sure credit bureau information is correct. Pay down existing debts and avoid taking on new ones. Save, save save! A good credit score is your best tool for getting a good mortgage.
Save Your Energy and House Hunt Online
When you’re looking for an accessible home, details matter. A decade ago, the only way to truly see a home for sale was through a viewing or open house. Not anymore. Websites and apps not only offer hundreds of photos but virtual tours and videos as well.
Check Out Some Accessible Plans
Do you know what an accessible home really looks like? If you’re unsure about what elements to look for in your future home, check out some accessible home plans for inspiration!
Make a List of Your Most-Desirable Home Traits
Every person with accessibility needs has specific requirements that are more important than others. Use your list-making skills to craft a solid strategy for house hunting. Remember that you don’t need to find a home that meets every single one of your requirements (modifications can be made), just your most important ones.
Get a Real-Estate Agent with Accessible Home Experience
Work with a Realtor, like Debra Arcamonte who has experience looking for and making deals on accessible homes, the time and energy you invest is well worth it.
Call in a Contractor to Help with Potential Modifications
Turning your already somewhat-accessible home into your perfect accessible home will require some home modifications. To best get a sense of what that will entail and how much it will cost, bring in a contractor to help you through the process. Great Realtors will have a list of contractors with proven track records.
Prep Your Home to Make It Move-In Ready
As soon as you close on your new home you should start thinking about how to make it as move-in ready as possible before you move a single piece of furniture. Consider hiring professional cleaners to get your home not only dirt-free but allergen, bacteria, and pollutant-free as well. Also, hire a locksmith; you’ll want to change your locks as soon as possible. For around $96 to $210 (the average price of installing new locks), you can give your family safety and security from night one.
Research Available Programs for Home buyers with Disabilities
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Social Security Administration, various nonprofits, and state agencies all offer assistance for disabled home buyers. You may not qualify but it’s certainly worth looking into.
Know Your Rights
Many people think that the Americans with Disabilities Act only deals with the rights of disabled home renters. In reality, there are some very important rights in there about the loaning and mortgage process for home buyers. Study up.
You may not find your perfect accessible home. Instead, you may find a decent home that you can turn into your perfect accessible home. It may take you a couple of weeks, or it may take months. However, know that all your effort will pay off in the end, as a truly accessible home is the key to health, happiness, and independence.
Patrick moved recently. He absolutely loves his new place, but it wasn’t easy to find. Patrick uses a wheelchair. Finding a home that could be easily and inexpensively remodeled to be accessible was challenging. Patrick wrote this article to offer house hunting advice for people searching for accessible homes.
Patrick Young Ableusa.info | firstname.lastname@example.org