Finding the Perfect Home for Aging Parents in Columbus

Heather Gott, REALTOR Author - Heather Gott

As our parents age, their housing needs can become a significant concern for families. Ensuring that they have a comfortable, accessible, and safe living environment is crucial for their well-being. Read on for several important factors to take into account...

Finding the perfect home for aging parents in Columbus. Image of an elderly person with a cane and a worker healping to steady their arm.

As our parents age, their housing needs can become a significant concern for families. Ensuring that they have a comfortable, accessible, and safe living environment is crucial for their well-being. If you’re in the Columbus, Ohio, area and considering your options for a home for aging parents, there are several important factors to take into account. Whether our parents prefer to age in place, move to a more suitable home, or transition to a retirement community, thoughtful planning and consideration are key.

Understanding the Needs of Aging Parents

Aging parents often require specific home features to ensure their safety and comfort. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Accessibility: Homes should have features like no-step entries, single-floor living, wide doorways, and hallways that can accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. Bathrooms should be equipped with grab bars, walk-in showers, and non-slip flooring.
  2. Proximity to Healthcare: Access to quality healthcare is essential. Look for homes for aging parents that are close to hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. Regular check-ups and emergency care should be easily accessible.
  3. Safety and Security: Ensure the home is in a safe neighborhood with good lighting and security measures. Check for any potential hazards in the home, such as loose carpets or slippery floors, and make necessary modifications.
  4. Social Connectivity: Loneliness can be a significant issue for older adults. Homes near family, friends, and community centers can help maintain social connections and prevent isolation.

Aging in Place: Modifying the Current Home

Aging in place is a popular choice for many seniors. It allows them to stay in the comfort of their own home while making necessary modifications to accommodate their changing needs. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Home Assessment: Conduct a thorough assessment of the home to identify potential hazards and areas that need modification. Consider hiring a professional to help with this process.
  • Universal Design Principles: Implement universal design principles to make the home accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability. This includes installing ramps, stairlifts, and handrails, and ensuring that light switches and outlets are within easy reach.
  • Bathroom and Kitchen Modifications: These are critical areas that often require significant changes. Install walk-in showers, raised toilets, and adjustable shower heads in the bathroom. In the kitchen, consider lower countertops and cabinets, and lever handles for faucets.
  • Smart Home Technology: Utilize smart home technology to enhance safety and convenience. Devices like smart doorbells, automated lighting, and voice-activated assistants can make daily tasks easier and provide peace of mind.

Considering a Move: Finding a Suitable New Home for Aging Parents

If aging in place isn’t feasible, finding a new home that meets your parents’ needs might be the best option. Here’s what to look for:

  • Location: Choose a location that is close to essential services, such as healthcare facilities, grocery stores, and public transportation. Being near family and friends is also a crucial factor in choosing a home for aging parents.
  • Home Features: Look for homes designed with accessibility in mind. Single-story homes with open floor plans are ideal. Ensure that the home has step-free entrances, wide doorways, and accessible bathrooms.
  • Community Amenities: Consider communities that offer amenities geared towards seniors, such as social clubs, fitness centers, and planned activities. These can greatly enhance your parents’ quality of life and help them stay active and engaged.

Transitioning to a Retirement Community

For some seniors, moving to a retirement community might be the best option. These communities offer various levels of care and a range of amenities designed to support an active, healthy lifestyle. Here are some benefits:

  • Comprehensive Care: Retirement communities often provide various levels of care, from independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing care. This ensures that your parents’ needs will be met as they age.
  • Social Opportunities: These communities offer numerous social activities and events, helping residents stay engaged and connected.
  • Maintenance-Free Living: One of the significant advantages is that these communities handle maintenance and upkeep, allowing your parents to enjoy a worry-free lifestyle.

Starting the Conversation

Discussing housing changes with aging parents can be challenging. Here are some tips to approach this sensitive topic:

  • Start Early: Begin the conversation before a crisis occurs. This allows for calm, thoughtful decision-making.
  • Listen and Empathize: Understand your parents’ desires and concerns. Validate their feelings and involve them in the decision-making process.
  • Provide Information: Share the benefits of different housing options and how they can improve their quality of life. Offer to tour potential homes or communities together.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consider involving an SRES professional. SRES refers to the Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation awarded to The Columbus Team for our expertise with senior housing. 

Conclusion to Finding a Home for Aging Parents

Finding the perfect home for aging parents requires careful consideration and planning. Whether they choose to age in place, move to a more accessible home, or transition to a retirement community, the goal is to ensure their safety, comfort, and happiness. By understanding their needs and exploring all available options, you can help your parents make a decision that will enhance their quality of life as they age.