It is Elsie and John’s 46th anniversary and they are spending the day visiting two open houses that are on the market near them. They are trying to find a home that will work for them as they live out their retirement. They are hoping that with the recent attention that aging in place is getting that they will find a home that will provide them with the safety, comfort and low maintenance that they want and need.
In the two homes they toured they noticed a trend. Can you say brown? Most of the walls were painted brown or dark taupe. “This isn’t going to work,” mentioned Elsie. “My eyes just don’t see as well as they used to and everything just seems dark.”
John nodded in agreement and said, “That already dark space would be a recipe for disaster and even depression!” John just found out that he is suffering from macular degeneration and even has some cataracts and he was told he isn’t a candidate for surgery. “My eyes require more light to see things clearly, and the dark walls will absorb the light creating an even darker space.”
John shook his head, “I think that is more the yellowing of your eyes adding that effect to the paint. It was more a taupe to me. Remember how we decided you see things more yellowed than I do?”
“What did you think of those shiny floors and all that tile everywhere? That last house had marble in the shower and on the bathroom floor! Good Lord, can you imagine me trying to navigate that with my new hip? We would have to get someone to come in and clean that, exactly what we are trying to avoid,” exclaimed John.
“I did like the cabinets in that last house, did you? I think you could actually reach those shelves since they are varied in height. Those tall ones in that first house would be a nightmare! I couldn’t reach that high with my arthritis. We would have all those cabinets that would be useless and the lower ones wouldn’t hold all of our posts and pans,” said Elsie.
“You have to admit, those granite countertops looked great but I wish they had spent the money on Quartz countertops instead. If I were going to put out all that money for a home, I wouldn’t want to have to have it sealed or anything. Even at that, that expense is something we just don’t need,” said John.
“Where are we going to find a home with regular countertops and a price we can afford John? Why can’t these builders just put in those beautiful countertops that look like granite but are just regular laminate?”
“I don’t know Elsie; it seems we are in the minority with wanting these easy care finishes. These houses are really out of our price bracket too.”
“You would think for the prices of these homes, they would have at least installed pull-outs and have varying heights of workspaces in the kitchens and bathrooms to make it easier to navigate. Even younger families with small children would benefit from that, John. What did you think about that pretty, very shiny and sleek stainless steel refrigerator in that last house? I don’t think I would like to have to clean up the fingerprints after the grandkids were visiting. I would much rather have one of those textured stainless steel looking ones with the French-style doors so I could reach things easier,” said Elsie.
“Did you see the microwave above the stove in the first house? I would never be able to reach that or pull something out of there when it is hot. I would much rather just have it on the counter where I can just reach in and pull things out,” said John.
“I think we are going to have to keep looking. What a waste of our anniversary day! Maybe we should go get a bite to eat with Tilly and Harold. Do you want to call Beth and see if she can come with us too?” Asked Elsie as they drove off together.
The search will continue…