Bumping this, because it could be appropriate to consider a reverse mortgage in some instances. After filling out this cost estimate, I found that the actual cost, including all fees could be a good alternative to selling the homestead.
The lower age eligibility limit is 62, and the total expenses would be higher at the younger age, but, depending on the financial condition of the person taking out the loan, it could easily be a good alternative for older persons who need cash for whatever reason.. nursing home for spouse, urgent repairs, or to keep safe other assets that would be more important in the longer term. If not for self, then for parents or relatives.
There are some downsides, but government guarantees could be important in the case of lowering home prices, and peace of mind for an older person can be a valuable commodity. The idea of having to downsize and move at age 80+ is daunting.
If you try the calculator... (an easy fill in the blanks).. check the difference between age 62, and 75 (for instance) as to the total cost differential.