Twenty years ago futurists predicted that as they aged, baby boomers would get rid of their large urban homes and move to their cottages or smaller places in the country.
They were wrong.
Even those boomers who sold and left the cities are steadily returning. The lure of convenient shopping, theatres, cinema, handy medical facilities and urban amenities all within walking distance or easily accessible by public transportation, is proving to be just the ticket to a stress-free retirement.
When we think about retirement... We often think of being surrounded by an ocean or a lake. We think about tranquility and often insolation. This is the opposite of what we reallly need. We need vitality and energy around us. We need a sense of community.
Aging in Place
“Aging in place” is the latest “buzzphrase.” You’ve heard it by now, but did you know it refers not just to the family home where you lived and brought up the kids, but also to a later house, apartment or condominium in the same, or even a similar type of neighbourhood, town or city?
Your choice of accommodation for your retirement is hugely important. There is no one answer, no single solution. So consider all your options – and you have several - then choose carefully.
We’re Here To Stay
Whether you continue living in your family home, or move to another type of residence, the fact is that in all probability your home will require modifications.
Some homes might have issues with stairs, handrails and general renovations that will increase accessibility and convenience later on. Others, usually smaller condos and houses, could use more inventive uses of space or innovative storage arrangements.
Regardless, these issues must be considered and the balance weighed before you come to a final decision as to your "aging in place" option.
Buying A Condo
Is it a good idea? What are the benefits? Where will I put my stuff? Where will the grandchildren sleep when they visit?
There just seems to be one question after another when it comes to buying a condo. So, let’s look at the facts.
Urban locations enhance accessibility to shopping and other amenities
They are frequently closer to public transportation
Security concerns are usually non-existent
They can modified to your precise requirements more easily and economically than a large house
Closer proximity to neighbours reduces isolation concerns without sacrificing privacy
Financially more feasible than a large family property, the sale of which can finance the smaller condo and afford a comfortable lifestyle.
Multiple dwelling units, such as condominiums and apartment complexes, provide a valuable supply of appropriate housing for aging boomers who increasingly find the effort, complications and upkeep of large houses, suburban sub-divisions, or isolated cottages unsuited to their needs.
So, the single answer to all the questions is:
For baby boomers condos offer a level of comfort that is practical, affordable, sensible and realistic. With no sacrifice to your standard of living, a co-ownership apartment or a condominium is the ideal component to the process of “Aging in Place”.
Okay. You’ve bought the place, now you have to 'age' in it.
Aging in place is not about just where you live, or even how you live, it’s also about the way you live.
If we stick to the 3Cs - comfort, convenience and common sense – we can, and will, have a quality of life that we can afford, appreciate, and enjoy.
After all, we’re really not about to change our lifestyle or standard of living at this stage
So, here are some things to consider.Obviously you won’t need them all, but some very simple choices can really enhance your lifestyle without costing a fortune.
Blame it on Mick and Keith and John and Paul and Elton and …
Baby boomers are notoriously hard of hearing. From Bill Clinton to Mick Fleetwood to Phil Collins, we boomers are losing our hearing far sooner than we should.Accidental – no way. Boomers were the first to listen to HiFi and stereo and to drive around with music blasting from car stereos. We went to rock concerts, listened to loud rock music on transistors, plugged Walkmans – and now iPods into our ears. With that kind of prolonged assault, the Hearing Foundation of Canada says hearing loss is inevitable.
So to combat “boomer hearing” in your new living concept, consider:
telephones with volume controls and speakers
mobiles with visual rather than audiorings
automatic shut off kettles
“quiet” appliances such as dishwashers and laundry machines –machine noises can become annoyingly amplified and drown out other sounds especially if you wear hearing aids
If my arms were just a little longer I’d read it easily…
Unfortunately as we age, so does our vision.The following could apply easily to any age group to prevent and/or minimize problems you probably haven’t even considered:
good bedside reading lights with tap-on switch adapters
new halogen replacements for brighter light
brighter lights in entry ways, corridors or stairways
photo sensitive night lights
extra task lights in kitchen
3X or greater magnification mirrors with lights
Shower with bench
Step in tub with door
Slip sliding away…
As we grow older the bathroom becomes a danger zone.Wet floors, hard-to-climb-out-of-tubs, slippery showers and all that tile and glass.It’s all just lying in wait. Still, there are ways to alleviate the dangers:
step-in tubs (with doors)
grab bars in the tub and shower
higher seated toilets
anti-scald faucet control in the bath and shower
height-adjustable or hand-held flexible shower head
Tarzan just isn’t swinging from those vines any longer…
Let’s face it. We just aren’t as strong, agile or mobile as we used to be.So here are some simple, but useful, items that can help. Of course if we had thought about it, this stuff could have helped us for years, but hey, with age comes wisdom.
rubber jar openers
peelers and kitchen utensils with good grips
sturdy step stools
closet organizer system with adjustable shelving
lever-style door handles
faucets with lever-style handles
uplift power seat for chairs
a long-handled shoe horn
Think smarter.Think smaller. Think specialist. When you need your condo or apartment designed with your specific space and future requirements in mind – you need an expert in small urban designs.
Someone who knows small spaces, storage solutions and space saving efficiencies
Someone who understands compact, organized and efficient
Someone who knows that downsizing space doesn’t mean downsizing your lifestyle
Someone who firmly believes good things come in small packages
You need a small space specialist.
I’ve been designing small spaces for years.Now you can take advantage of my experience and expertise.
And don’t forget…all my buyers get a free consultation on design solutions and access to my rolodex of small appliance contacts.