Are modern homes being sold with the elderly in mind?
With the property market in the UK in something of a state of flux – partly due to a lack of new homes being built, and partly due to the constant rise in property prices that is making it hard for young people to get a foot on the property ladder – there are considerations to bear in mind for modern homes for the elderly.
A property is the most expensive item you are likely to buy (unless you are a billionaire) and you will have spent time getting it as perfect as possible over the years. Yet, as you get older, you may find you have different needs for your living space than before. Of course, if you live in a large house you may be loath to leave it and downsize.
However, you may reach the stage where you need to find a smaller property that is easier to manage, especially if you are caring for a partner or in need of care yourself. But are modern homes being sold with elderly people in mind?
Constructing the future
There is a tendency for housebuilders to concentrate on building homes for young people and families, and you can understand that in terms of the numbers of the younger generation looking for a foothold on the property ladder.
Although the housing market is always likely to fluctuate, the fact is that as the population continues to increase, new homes will always be needed.
However, more and more older people want to retain their independence for as long as possible, and there are homes being built to cater for them, rather than them simply entering a care home.
When you have been independent all your life as an adult, it can be difficult to have that taken away from you. A care home may be seen as a simple solution but it’s not for everyone.
Homes for the elderly
When you’re looking for a modern home for your retirement there are several issues you need to consider. Will it be better to have a bungalow with everything on the one floor? If you or your partner uses a wheelchair, are exterior and interior doors wide enough and is the circulation space well planned? If you have a first storey, do you need an electric lift to get up there?
These and other questions are what organisations such as MBi Social Care, which supports elderly people to live independently, are working on all the time. The construction industry is becoming much more aware of housing requirements for the so-called “grey market”, and whether you are in a position to buy, having sold your property, or just want to rent, there are many more options than there used to be.
There have been suggestions made that older people should downsize so that housing becomes available for young families, and that makes it even more important that appropriate homes are built for that older generation.
It may require a shift in thinking but it is an option that you could consider.
Photo credit: Gerd Altmann