By Amara Rose
Aging in place. It’s a relatively new term for a very old concept: remaining in your own home as you grow older. Once upon a time, this wasn’t an issue. Extended families ensured that someone would be available to look after Grandma should the time come when she needed assistance.
Today, when even nuclear families are something of a novelty, the picture has radically shifted. While many people live healthy, active lives well into their 80s and 90s, and are able to care for themselves in their own homes, others require assistance at some stage due to circumstances such as poor health, an accident, or a similar need that precludes their ability to continue managing independently.
For people who are healthy and want to stay in their own home as they age, a reverse mortgage can be a key vehicle to make this a reality. The first step in generating reverse mortgage leads with this population is determining whether aging in place is in a senior’s best interest.
Here are seven guidelines you can use to help homeowners decide whether aging in place makes sense for them, and if so, whether to explore a reverse mortgage — or whether it would be prudent to consider other housing options. Aging in place can serve a senior well if:
- They have sufficient equity in their home to qualify for a reverse mortgage (LTV)
- Their health is generally good, and they’re mobile.
- They have a network of local family, friends, and neighbors they can rely on.
- They drive, and alternate transportation is readily accessible.
- They live in a safe neighborhood.
- Their home can be modified to address changing needs.
- They’re outgoing, well connected, and able to reach out for social support.
But, what if one partner later becomes ill or requires assistance?
In Part 2 we’ll look at housing options for seniors who may no longer be able to live independently in their own home.