Tips For Home Safety And Fall Prevention
Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury for older Americans? In fact, 33,000 people die each year from a fall. That’s one person every 19 minutes, with most falls occurring in the home. But the good news is that most falls are preventable. Know the steps — big and small — you can take to help create a safer living environment.
Identifying and eliminating home hazards
The most critical step in reducing fall risks is to pinpoint and eliminate potential hazards room by room. Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer useful downloadable resources with tips for lessening the risks for falls to occur.
For example, consider the following:
- Are throw rugs secure with rubber backings or double-sided tape?
- Are steps and hallways free of clutter?
- Is there adequate lighting around your front door and stairs?
- Do stairs have a second handrail?
- Are frequently used items within easy reach, not stored on a high shelf?
- Is the path from your bed to the bathroom clear?
Of course, not every potential safety hazard can be resolved with a fast or inexpensive fix. A more extensive home remodel, including widening doorways, installing ramps, or redesigning a kitchen or bath might be necessary for some older adults to continue living safely in their home.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for older homeowners to afford a substantial investment in modifications like these. Often, they are less liquid in their funds, with a good portion of their net worth locked in their home’s equity. All too often, an older homeowner will forego important renovations that would make their home safer, because they conclude they cannot afford them.
Freeing up funds to ensure home safety
A safer home is key to preventing injury and maintaining independence. And a reverse mortgage loan is a great financing option for homeowners who are in or approaching retirement, because it can give them a new source of funds to make necessary safety improvements.
An FHA-insured* reverse mortgage loan, also referred to as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is specifically designed to help homeowners age 62 and older “age in place” with greater comfort and financial flexibility.
Here are the key features of a reverse mortgage:
- Eligible borrowers must be age 62 and older, and must reside in the home as their primary residence.
- The loan enables the borrower to convert a portion of their home’s equity into funds for various individual needs — like paying for home renovations.
- Borrower(s) retain full ownership of the home, with their name on the title.
- The loan does not have to be fully repaid until the last surviving borrower passes away, sells the home or moves out.
- As with any mortgage, the borrower must meet their loan obligations, keeping current with property taxes, insurance, maintenance and any homeowners association fees.
- With an FHA-insured* reverse mortgage, borrowers never owe more than the home is worth when the loan is repaid. This is known as the “non-recourse” feature.
A safety net for your health and well-being
At Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC (RMF), our mission is to help meet the needs of older homeowners, so they can remain comfortably in their home as long as possible. Whether you’re thinking about retirement or helping a loved one prepare, RMF can help you plan for the financial resources you’ll need in the years ahead. To find out more about reverse mortgages, call 877-485-1359 for a convenient phone appointment with a licensed reverse mortgage specialist.