The coronavirus pandemic has cast a shadow of mortal danger over senior community-living and assisted-living options, nursing home options, and the option of living fulltime on a cruise ship grazing the buffets and watching people, waves, and whales. Instead of looking forward to being safe with others our own age, with staff to care for us, and convenient medical care, we find that living in community might expose us to a virus we have no immunity to and a particular susceptibility for.
Even if one eyes being sick alone with anxiety, aging in place, at home has become even more attractive in recent months, and it has also become more possible. Advances in electronic technology have given many seniors more tools to use to assist them in staying at home while they age. Online shopping and delivery of even groceries and the surge in telemedicine are a couple of the technologies that have taken off during the pandemic. According to the Wall Street Journal article by Peter Grant, Senior-Housing Communities Face Higher Vacancy Rates Amid Coronavirus, virtual “doctor visits through American Well, also known as Amwell, increased 1000% during a six-week period (1).”
While senior community investors are taking a beating right now, a fix-n-flip real estate investor might be able to turn a profit on small rundown houses by remodeling them into the perfect haven for a senior citizen who wants to avoid community living. The task will mean focusing on details that seniors would be looking for and then marketing those amenities when you sell the home. I’ve scoured several articles for ideas about what to remodel in a fix-n-flip for seniors.
The first Advice I found was “buy a single-story home.” (3)
Make a no-rise entry by adding a ramp instead of steps. (3)
Repair uneven or cracked walkways outside and add nonslip surfaces. (3)
If stairs must stay, add 1 ½-inch diameter rails on both sides. (3)
Add reflective strips to top and bottom of stairs. (3)
Create doorways that are wide enough for a wheelchair.
Add benches and hooks for packages both inside and outside an entrance. (3)
Make a cleanup station or mud room near the door so guests can wash hands, remove shoes, discard coats, and pick up a face mask at the entrance and not expose inhabitant to pathogens.
Put a roof over at least one entryway. (3)
Install appliances with easy-to-read controls and push buttons. (3)
Install a wall oven. (3)
Make a microwave drawer. (3)
Use lazy Susan’s, rollout drawers, glass doors, and open shelving in cabinets and pantries. (3)
Install a single lever kitchen faucet. (3)(4)
Removing small step ups and down between rooms and replacing them with ramps.
Install flooring that is nonslip even when wet in bath and kitchen. (2) (3) (4)
Install outlets where they will be most useful, such as on walls where a flat screen would be used so cords don’t show and a little above desk height on walls and in the corners for charging devices or plugging in computers.
Install u-shaped and vertical grab bars in the shower and near the bathtub (2) (3) and add back bracing to the walls in these areas. (3)
A walk-in tub.
Install a curb-less entrance to the shower. (4)
Give shower floors a non-slip coating. (4)
Install shower seating, some are fold down. (2) (3)
Install adjustable handheld shower sprayers. (2) (3) (4)
Add extra lightening to shower area. (3) (4)
Install tall or comfort-height toilets and bars to grip when one is lowering and lifting themselves off the toilet. (4)
Add lever faucets to bathroom sinks. (3) (4)
Install new decks with handrails and no splinters.
Add Raised garden beds to the landscaping.
I can have private funding for your project. Let’s get our economy going again.
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- WSJ, Peter Grant, May 12, 2020, Senior-Housing Communities Face Higher Vacancy Rates Amid Coronavirus, https://www.wsj.com/articles/senior-housing-communities-face-higher-vacancy-rates-amid-coronavirus-11589284805
- How to Make a Home Safe for Seniors, April Klazema, Senior Advice. https://www.senioradvice.com/articles/how-to-make-a-home-safe-for-seniors
- (3) Steps for Converting a House into a Senior Friendly Home, https://www.seniorliving.com/article/steps-converting-house-senior-friendly-home, Shane Fitz-Coy
- (4) Five Tips for Preparing your Bathroom for Senior Living, https://www.seniorliving.com/article/five-tips-preparing-your-bathroom-senior-living, Chris Long