We all need to think about the future, whether our pension pot will be big enough once we’ve retired, and if it’s going to be possible to stay in our home. There’s an expression that my family like to use “We need to future-proof this”, which means “We need to make sure it’s ok if our needs change in the future”.
Let’s imagine that we want to buy a car, we need to make sure that the car we buy is future-proof, in other words, is it suitable for a growing family? Will all our future children be able to fit in it? The same can be said for your home, is it future-proof? Or you do need to adapt it so that it is? We can all make a few changes to our home so that if and when the time comes we can continue to live there for as long as possible.
Install a Downstairs Bathroom
As we age we may not be as mobile as we once were and we could find that visiting the bathroom upstairs is not as easy as it once was. This is why you may want to think about installing a downstairs bathroom. My uncle converted an old cupboard under the stairs into a bathroom as my grandfather started to find it hard to walk up the stairs. When it comes to getting up the stairs you may be happy to get up and down on your own with a stairlift but my grandfather said he’d prefer a bathroom downstairs. Fast forward a few years and we have installed a stairlift which takes him up to his bedroom at night so he doesn’t have to sleep on a makeshift bed in the lounge.
Consider Buying a Bungalow
If you ever have the chance to buy a bungalow you may want to give it serious consideration. Bungalows are easier to live in than a house with more than one set of stairs. They also tend to be a lot bigger inside than you think which means you may not need to downsize at all. A bungalow is ideal for anyone who struggles to walk or is likely to have future mobility issues.
Widen your Door Frames
Many new homes are being built with wide door frames, however, many people still live in older properties that have narrow door frames. You may want to think about future-proofing your home by widening your door frames so there’s enough room for a wheelchair to pass through them. Wide door frames are usually easier to pass through when you’re walking with a frame or a stick as you’ll have enough room to manoeuvre.
Future-Proof your home as soon as you can so you don’t need to make any adaptations in a hurry. Think about what your future needs may be and make the changes that could ultimately mean you can stay in your home for many more years to come.