Post in collaboration with Age UK Mobility.
For many people, our homes are our sanctuaries. They provide warmth, safety, familiarity; A place where we can truly relax and be ourselves. We fill our homes with all sorts of things: to provide comfort, to entertain us, to help make our lives a little bit easier. However at different stages in our lives, we may need different things in our houses; Two working adults who have lived with a shower room may find themselves needing to install a bath when a baby comes along. Things may then change again as you get older and the house becomes more difficult to navigate. Home renovations can be costly, and so it’s worth thinking about the long term when making any changes to your house. So, here are my top tips for future proofing your home.
Keep Things Open Plan
Open plan living isn’t for everyone, but when thinking about future proofing your home it can be a great idea. For families with younger children, having open plan living arrangements allows parents to get on with household tasks while keeping an eye on the children. Thinking further in to the future, an open plan living area can allow foe easier movement for older people whose mobility might be more limited.
Adapt Your Living Space
Perhaps you have decided open plan isn’t the way to go, and you prefer keeping your living, cooking and eating spaces separate. If that works for you, that’s great! In this situation, it’s best to be willing to adapt your space to suit your needs. Maybe your dining room can become a playroom for the younger members of the house? And when thinking ahead, rooms on the ground floor can be converted to a master bedroom if mobility needs arise. Basically, don’t be afraid to change the purpose of your rooms to suit your families needs! Homes don’t have to fit a conventional layout, as long as they work for you.
Think About Long Term Plans
The way we use our homes can change dramatically once we hit retirement age. People may find themselves at home more often, or may find that the house is not as easy to get around as it once was. When this time comes, mobility aids like stairlifts, or a specially adapted bath may be needed. It’s worth looking at your home to see if it will be suitable for special adaptations. For example, when renovating a bathroom, can you check that your walls will be reinforced to allow for a handrail in future. Perhaps you are looking at buying your forever home, have you checked that the stairs will allow for a stairlift to be installed? It may sound silly to be questioning these things, particularly in your 20s or 30s, but knowing where you stand now can save a major headache in years to come!
Do It Right
If the time has come to start adapting your home for mobility needs, or if you have family members finding they are struggling in their own home, be sure to make sure any work you get done is done right. Getting things done properly the first time can give you piece of mind that your home will serve your needs for years to come. Seeking advice from someone like Age UK Mobility can help tailor adaptations to your needs so that your sanctuary remains a comfortable and safe place for you.