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How to Maintain Your Home Throughout Your Retirement

Post date: 10/21/2019

Keeping up with your home can be a labor of love – after all, it’s probably where you spend a good portion of your day winding down and relaxing or spending time with family and loved ones. Most of us want our home to be a cozy and comforting place. However, things such as clutter, renovations and safety hazards in your home can make it difficult to relax. As you get older, there are certain things you should be aware of in terms of keeping up with weekly, monthly and yearly maintenance to ensure you can spend more healthy and happy years in your home.

Luckily, there are plenty of resources available that can help with the maintenance and upkeep of your home, meaning you won’t have to leave your home just because tasks are becoming more difficult than they used to be. Many of these resources are also cost-effective and focus on preventing a problem with your home before it happens. That means you can sleep well at night knowing you’re not likely to wake up in the morning to an expensive home repair due to something that could’ve been prevented! If you’re an older adult wanting to enjoy your hard-earned retirement years in your home, read on for helpful tips on how to maintain your home throughout your retirement.

Conduct a yearly inspection

It is a very good idea to conduct a yearly inspection on your home and property each year and plan ahead for maintenance and repairs. This can be something you do yourself, or you can have a friend or family member do it for you, as well! It is also wise to plan for upcoming expenses so that you’re not dealing with a sudden, costly repair you weren’t prepared for.

Here are a few areas that should be examined during your yearly inspection:

Exterior of your home

Conduct a yearly walk of your property and home exterior. Make sure to check the siding or exterior paint for splits, cracks or gaps, and checking your retaining walls, cinderblock fencing or chain link fencing for holes, loose parts or torn links.

Here are more things to keep in mind as you or your trusted friend or family member inspect the exterior of your home:

  • Hire an outside company to survey your chimney, gutters and downspouts for debris, animals and any general dilapidation that will need repairs as these structures age.
  • Examine your foundation for cracks and bulges and look at any exterior wood for signs of termite damage or rot.
  • Have someone examine your roof for missing tiles, cracks or crumbling pieces.
  • Check all sidewalks and driveways for overgrown tree roots interrupting the concrete and any additional cracks or fissures that could be a tripping hazard.
  • Keep up with outdoor landscape maintenance, as tree branches and roots can damage your roof and housing foundation. This also includes yearly palm tree maintenance!

Doors and windows

Doors and windows can be very costly to replace, and if a replacement isn’t within your budget, do what you can now to conserve and protect your doors and windows so they last longer. In a yearly inspection, you should have someone look for these things:

  • Look for loose hinges or doorknobs.
  • Check the weather stripping and window screens for holes, snags or interruptions.
  • Look for cracks around windowpanes and in any shutters.
  • Check for peeling paint or other signs of water damage.

Interior of your home

The interior of your home is where you likely spend a lot of your time. While decoration and furnishings make a home feel extra cozy, it can be a rough wake-up call if you don’t keep track of certain things each year:

  • Check your flooring for loose bits and popped nails.
  • Examine all ceilings for stains which may indicate a leak.
  • Look for cracks above doorways. This may be a sign your house’s foundation has shifted.
  • Open your breaker box and check for scorches or burns which may mean you have a loose or sparking wire.


Appliances can be a hassle to replace, and an even bigger woe if you’re on a budget. Maintaining your appliances can be easy to overlook, so be sure to follow these tips to keep everything in good working order:

  • Drain your water heater to remove any sediment that has collected in the bottom.
  • Wiggle around the base of your toilet to see if it rocks or sways. This may be a sign that a leak has damaged the surrounding floor tiles.
  • If you have a septic tank, make sure it is emptied regularly.
  • Check around radiators for leaks or signs of damage and examine vent covers for missing screws.
  • Turn on all your stove burners and check for functionality, sparks or flame bursts.
  • Regularly change your air and water filters.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors and CO2 detectors are working every month.

If you’ve found home maintenance problems or issues you need to fix promptly, and you need guidance or financial assistance, there are ways to get some of your costs covered. You can oftentimes find the help you need to get the job done through the following resources:

1.      Reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging

Contacting your local Area Agency on Aging may be a good first step to locating the help you need to keep up with minor home repairs and to seek outside help with home upkeep. They can refer you to local contractors or state financial aid which can help you maintain your home as you age. They have many agencies throughout the United States, and in Arizona, there is a local branch conveniently in Phoenix.

2.      Look into your Medicare and Medicaid benefits

While Medicare and Medicaid won’t pay for direct modifications to your home, they will cover certain pieces of medical equipment when given a doctor’s prescription. Things like walkers, wheelchairs, toilet safety devices and shower safety equipment can all be covered under your Medicare or Medicaid health benefits. That means your home will be safer and easier to manage as your health care needs may change in the future. Read this article to learn more about home modifications you can make in your home to make it easier to age in place.

3.      Homeowner’s insurance

Some homeowner’s insurance benefits may cover home modifications or additional home safety equipment to keep you in your home longer. Be sure to chat with your insurance agent about what is and isn’t covered in terms of home maintenance, as each plan differs from the next.

4.      Additional government programs

The United States government has many programs available to aging adults in order to maintain and improve their homes. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture offers Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants to aging adults throughout the country. These loans and grants are awarded to adults aged 62 and over with certain financial need requirements, and can be used for any sort of home modification or repair.

5.      Sun Health At Home

Sun Health At Home allows members the freedom and flexibility to remain in their home as they get older. As a part of your membership, you are coordinated with help and resources nearby to assist with monthly and yearly home maintenance tasks. In addition to being able to age in place, you also receive access to premier wellness services and care coordination should your health care needs change in the future.

Contact Sun Health At Home today to learn more about how you can age in place and gain access to the many amenities and services offered to community members just like you.