Designing your home and life for an ideal retirement

As we age, it’s important to take a proactive look at how to adapt your home for the best possible quality of life. With a little planning and some simple changes to help make life easier, we’re better able to maintain our independence and stay connected. Here are a few cost-effective steps:

Prioritize accessibility and functionality Think about what changes you can make now in preparation for the future, so you can work on them gradually, and finance changes over time. Simple updates in your home can make day-to-day tasks easier and make your space more functional. For example, you can try replacing doorknobs with handles that are easier to grab or installing hand railings along stairs. You could also explore smart home tech and virtual assistants to turn lights on and off or adjust the thermostat. Various provincial governments even offer support and subsidies for seniors to alleviate the costs of select home improvements.

Maintain access to your community Consider how your home’s location helps you to be a part of the community, and brainstorm ways in which you can stay connected to the places and people which matter to you most. For example, many public transit agencies offer senior’s discounts, and community organizations arrange affordable transportation for seniors in many rural communities to help make daily errands and activities doable. Explore the services available near you to help maintain easy and affordable community access.

Take advantage of technology Technology can simplify many day-to-day tasks – like shopping and accessing healthcare resources – while also connecting us with loved ones near and far. If you’re worried about the cost of connecting virtually, there are programs to help address financial barriers.

For example, if you receive the senior’s Guaranteed Income Supplement from the government, you might be eligible for the Telus Mobility for Good for Seniors program, which provides discounted smartphones and wireless plans so you can stay connected from anywhere. Meanwhile, their Internet for Good for Seniors program provides low-cost, high-speed internet plans for low-income seniors in some provinces, along with the option to purchase a discounted computer. Explore options like this to learn how they can help you access and thrive through virtual connections.

credit – newscanada