You might think that in order to have a more accessible living space you need to move. But with home prices spiking all over the country and all the hassle and stress that comes with buying and selling a home, is it really worth it? What’s more, is there a more cost-effective solution for improving your home environment?
Over the past few years, the number of UK homeowners opting to improve their home rather than moving has increased over 5 times. The survey, conducted by Hiscox, reveals that this equates to about 15% of homeowners now.
When it comes to moving, prices have been steadily increasing over recent times. The Finance and Leasing Association found that mortgages for ‘second-steppers’ have gone up 24% year-on-year. Lloyds Bank also found the discrepancy between movers selling their current property and purchasing a new one to be as high as £140 000. These leaps in pricing have sparked the trend to ‘improve, not move’. This is when homeowners seek to stay put and simply spend on renovating or improving their current property. Depending on what you’re looking to do, this could only cost a few thousand or tens of thousands (as opposed to a 6-figure investment).
With Brexit and an uncertain property market looming ahead, there’s a very strong case for staying put and modifying your current home. This is particularly true if you’re looking to get improved mobility out of it. In this respect, there are many affordable changes you can make.
Here are some tips and suggestions for modifying your existing home for better mobility.
Do your research
When setting up a home for mobility and care, it’s worth doing a bit of research into the matter. Get in touch with a local agency like Age Concern or charity such as Age UK or Independent Age or speak to a civic, faith-based or another community group.
Get expert advice
Get an occupational therapist or ageing care manager to provide an assessment of your home. They’ll then recommend what modifications of changes you should make that will make it safer and easier to live in.
If you’re caring for an ageing parent, staying in touch with them on a regular basis means you can help them stay on top of making improvements. Health and wellness needs can change rapidly at an older age. By encouraging your older loved one(s) to communicate with you via phone or video chat, you’ll be able to get a better sense of what they might need.
Around the home
When it comes to making home improvements related to specific activities, here are some cost-effective things you could purchase or easily install:
Getting out of bed and dressed – If you find bending challenging, there are a few items that can help you get in and out of bed and get dressed more swiftly.
Fitted raisers can be added to beds or armchairs, adjustable beds are also great for taking you from a lying down to sitting position. Grabbers can also help you pick items that are out of reach.
Preparing food – There are a plethora of brilliant tools you can buy to make spending time in the kitchen more enjoyable and pleasant.
From double-handled cups and high-rimmed plates to trolleys and perching stools to support you in a standing position, there’s a solution for almost every challenge. Spike boards and kettle tippers can help you navigate things like pouring hot water and cutting more safely. It doesn’t cost much to purchase some of these items to make preparing food and drink less taxing.
Using the bathroom – For bathrooms there are a number of simple yet affordable solutions that will really make life easier. You should definitely consider installing grab rails, which could be lifesaving when it comes to sudden falls or slips. Equally, high-pan toilets and shower seats are very helpful for mobility issues. Here’s a handy guide which offers more tips for making your bathroom accessible.
Using the stairs – As we age, stairs can become increasingly challenging and make the everyday life we are used to, very difficult. Installing an additional bannister or a stairlift can make moving from one floor to another much easier.
Answering the door – When it comes to staying safe at home, installing a system that lets you view and speak to guests is a great idea. Door-entry intercoms and video entry phones all allow you to check up on who’s actually there from a comfortable pace before opening your door.
For more tips, check out these 5 pieces of equipment for making home life easier.