There are nearly 35 million people over the age of 65 in the U.S. today. I think I can say with confidence that a very high percentage of mature Americans would like to spend their retirement years in their own homes if possible. Many cannot afford other options, like moving to a warmer climate or into a retirement facility.
Of course there are numerous issues and challenges for older people who want – or have to – live in their own homes. An important one, which I've experienced firsthand with my own elderly mother, is upkeep of the home. This is connected to other issues, such as safety, security, finance and health.
We didn’t realize it until much later, but something my father had done to their 35-year old home before he died enabled my mother to stay in her home, despite her battle with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and pulmonary fibrosis. My father had vinyl replacement windows installed in their house.
Over 20 years those windows never required maintenance, and they were easy to clean. My mother was able to open and close them easily, despite her health problems. The windows were made with double-insulating glass and Low-E, and that helped keep her heating bills manageable over the cold Pennsylvania winter months. Those windows also were a lot stronger than her old ones, which made her children feel that she was safer and more secure.
I’m sure there are many things that can be done to homes to make it possible for the elderly to continue living in them. However, I’m convinced that replacing old windows with good, low-maintenance, energy-efficient windows is something that should always be considered. It can really make a difference in so many ways.