Instead of moving to senior communities, many seniors prefer remaining in their homes as long as possible. Aging in place can be a rewarding experience because it allows seniors to live in a familiar environment with neighbors, friends, and family within reach.
However, seniors choosing to age in place can face a number of challenges. In addition to home chores, home maintenance is another ongoing task that seniors must keep up monthly. Home maintenance is crucial because it is a key to healthy aging.
What home maintenance should seniors consider so they can continue to live a stress-free lifestyle now and in the future? Discover our list of home maintenance for seniors to keep their homes in good shape.
Home Maintenance For Seniors To Prepare A Stress-Free Lifestyle
Why Is Home Maintenance Important For Seniors?
There are several reasons why keeping a home in good condition might be worthwhile for all homeowners. For senior homeowners, it can positively affect their quality of life and health as a whole. Let’s discover a few perks of home maintenance for seniors:
- Home maintenance cuts down repair costs. Home repair costs are no joke. Investing in steady care to preserve the house can save seniors big bucks. For example, water leakage can rake up hundreds of dollars in utility bills and even more to fix it. So it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Proper house maintenance reduces stress and anxiety. As advanced ages come with lots of health changes, most seniors don’t want to deal with more trouble. Performing home maintenance the right way can provide seniors with peace of mind.
- Keeping a home well-maintained increases the safety of seniors. Ignoring house issues exposes seniors to severe accidents. With fall risk threatening seniors at any given point, rugged hardwood floors can turn hazardous. Maintaining a home can help seniors avoid unwanted injuries without attending caregivers. It allows seniors to prolong their stay in their homes and live as independently as possible.
- Taking good care of the house provides a sense of purpose. By breaking home modifications into chunks and completing them one by one, seniors can avoid boredom arising from monotonous lifestyles. They now have something to look forward to and chances to move their bodies.
- A house in mint condition holds a higher resale value. A house is a lifetime investment, so some seniors may profit significantly by selling their houses before moving to senior living. But that scenario only happens if their houses are in like-new condition. No buyers want to move into a house requiring major renovations, so performing proper maintenance can improve its value even though decades have passed.
Home Maintenance For Seniors: A To-Do List
Find below the ultimate list of to-do house maintenance for seniors to keep their houses safe and clean.
Inspect The Overall Structure
Although home inspection is meant for property buyers, seniors are encouraged to conduct a comprehensive inspection when possible. How can it help seniors? Sure, you can browse the house yourself, but opting for a professional home inspection service can help spot overlooked issues adversely affecting the house foundation, such as cracked walls and leaky roofs. For seniors who choose to age in place, routine inspections do an excellent job of identifying a broad range of potential hazards that might interfere with their lives long-term. Experienced home inspectors can suggest necessary modifications to increase your parents’ living experience. The cost ranges between $200 and $500, depending on where you live. You can search for home inspectors through the Senior Home Safety Network (SHSN).
Check The Roof
As the roof keeps seniors away from inclement weather, roof inspection is an annual must-do maintenance task. This step is critical if your parents live in areas susceptible to natural disasters like hurricanes and cyclones. Keep an eye out for the roof integrity once a year, especially after harsh weather events, to ensure it is not seriously damaged. Spot for missing or loose shingles, holes, leaks, and rusted areas. Don’t wait until there are serious leakages and damage, or else your parents will be stuck with outrageous bills for repairs. You and your parents can inspect from the ground up and leave the fixing part for roofing experts. Even if the roof doesn’t pose any serious issues, it is a good idea to have inspection and maintenance done by professionals every three years.
Clean The Gutters
Gutters are an exterior system attached under the roof edge, with connecting pipes leading all the way down to the ground. It is responsible for diverting rainwater from the roof and overall house structure. Such systems ensure mold, mildew, and moss have no chance to accumulate over time. By keeping gutters clear of dirt, debris, and leaves, your parents can avoid the costly price of fixing the house exterior. Maintaining the gutter system might not be the most exciting thing to do. So, remind your parents that they can call for professional help if this task is too much to bear, especially when cleaning the gutters requires a firm balance on the ladder to work with the gutters.
Maintain The Floor and Paths
Rugged hardwood floors, buckled carpets, cracked tiles, sunken concrete slabs, and heaving pathways can downright pose serious threats to seniors. Plus, they also look unappealing. Maintaining the floor and clearing pathways are necessary because these issues can directly affect your parents’ health if left unfixed. So, obtain help from professionals as soon as possible for floor and pathway issues.
Check The Walls
The walls contribute to the house’s foundation and structural integrity. It supports the roof and assures top security for people living inside. Tiny cracks and holes, though only 1mm in size, can cause the house structure to shift, resulting in potential collapse. That’s why holes and cracks need to be addressed and patched as soon as possible before they bulge out. You and your parents can work together to seal minor cracks, but be sure to leave large ones to professionals. Contractors know best in such situations by offering viable solutions to fix and prevent further damage.
Step Up Electrical System Maintenance
Get assistance from electricians to examine the electrical system. They will help replace broken outlets and exchange light bulbs that no longer light up. Consider switching to energy-saving light bulbs to save on your parents utility bills. Finally, ask the electrician to organize cables and electric cords so the floor and walkways won’t be covered in tripping hazards.
Inspect Doors and Windows
Doors and windows are valuable safety assets. Conduct an inspection of all doors and windows within the household once a year. Make sure the frames are fixed properly to the walls, the hinges are screwed tightly, and the door knobs and locks work properly. Don’t forget to remove debris from sills and tracks and lube the hinges for easy sliding. Another annual task is checking for signs of cracked glasses and leakages, especially before the rainy season.
Test Alarms and Safety Gear
Paying attention to alarms and safety gear around your parents’ household can save lives during fire breakouts. Encourage your parents to run an in-depth examination of smoke alarms and toxic gas detectors around their household. Conduct an all-around check yourself if your parents have issues with reaching overhead. During the monthly check, be sure to test functions and replace batteries as needed; don’t wait until the last minute. Check for expired fire extinguishers as well.
Double-check The HVAC System
One of the most important maintenance tips for the HVAC system is to clean the filter regularly. Changing the filter every month is crucial to clear the air in the house, minimizing your parents’ risk of allergy during the pollen season. Consult with professionals to change long-lasting filters. Remember to check the grease filter if your parents cook a lot. Inspect the fireplace to ensure it is free of soot and debris. You can hire a chimney sweep to handle cleaning the fireplace and chimney.
Although routine maintenance can take a house up to a new level, some tasks can be too much for seniors to handle on their own. Before tackling house maintenance, help your parents assess the current state of their house.
Task delegation is crucial to minimize your parents’ exposure to potential hazards. In other words, remind your parents that they mustn’t attempt high-risk or high-height maintenance tasks themselves but leave them for professional contractors instead.
If you have questions about home maintenance for seniors or any topics discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks Senior Living Communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to schedule a personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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