The Number of Elderly People Downsizing their Home in The UK has Dropped.
Often moving out of a home full of memories, comforts, and love to a smaller, unfamiliar home, is not what many older people want to do. A survey has found that 80% of homeowners aged 65 and over are wishing to stay where they are rather than move house. When older people do downsize it is commonly due to limited mobility or to save money. Due to advancing technology in mobility aids and amendments which can be incorporated in ones home, anybody with limited mobility is finding it easier to stay put and maintain freedom in the home. Also, when the money side of downsizing is investigated, it is not much of an incentive. The demand for retirement properties such as cottages and bungalows is strong so a smaller property may not necessarily carry a smaller price tag, especially if it is in a desirable area. Moving from somewhere familiar and comfortable is often not worth the small amount of money you might save.
Another reason old people are less likely to downsize is that we are working longer. Studies suggest that old people are wanting to invest their money in a larger property capable of entertaining extended family, especially grandchildren, as well as their friends. People in later life have the same desires to improve their quality of life as any of us. Mobility aids such as stairlifts are enabling people to stay in their family sized homes. At Multicare Mobility, we are proud that we are able to offer stairlifts and other mobility aids to our customers so that they can stay in their preferred location for longer. If you or a relative are having trouble with everyday tasks, such as climbing the stairs, please visit our stairlift page to find out how we can help you. Additionally, give one of our experts a call on 0808 273 4300 for more information.
There is the possibility of receiving a grant from the government if you are disabled and require changes to be made to your home. This money can be used to cover changes such as: widening doors and installing ramps, improving access to rooms and facilities – eg stairlifts or a downstairs bathroom, providing a heating system suitable for your needs, and adapting heating or lighting controls to make them easier to use. This grant helps people make changes to their home so that they can live there for a longer period of time. By allowing them to stay in their home for longer and increase their independence, it’s enabled them to regain the ability to do the everyday tasks we all take for granted.
Nobody has the exact same requirements, so it is lucky that technology is constantly advancing which means more and more products are arriving on the market which could be perfect for your needs. The range of stairlifts we stock at Multicare is constantly increasing to incorporate new designs. Other useful mobility aids for your home could include, wheelchair lifts, wheelchair ramps, walk-in baths, wet rooms, and grab rails. As great as all these devices are, they are not a solution for everybody. Some houses are simply not designed to fit a wet room or for a ramp to be installed at the entrance. This forces occupants with limited mobility to move to a more suitable location. Multicare is hoping that we can help as many of our customers as possible to carry on living exactly where they want to, wherever that may be.
Future of home improvements
While the mobility aids and amendments mentioned above are helping many stay in their homes for longer, they are not a viable solution for everyone. Many homes are not suitable to be equipped with wheelchair lifts, walk-in in baths, and even a ramp to allow access in and out of the house. Many old people are forced to sell up and move somewhere smaller or potentially a retirement home. Across the country, there are 11.8 million people over the age of 65, with many of them looking to “rightsize” to a desirable property that is suited to their needs. However, only 2% of the housing industry has been specifically created to cater to this age group, with a limited number of retirement villages available. Retirement homes are in high demand so are often expensive. As many more of us live longer, so too will there be many more of us living with disabilities. But much of our current housing stock simply isn’t suitable for people with any sort of mobility problem.
A charity called A Centre for Ageing Better is calling the government, local authorities, and property developers to design houses which can be adapted to our future. Rachael Docking suggests that we need to move away from a focus on delivering homes ‘for older people’ and deliver an adequate and diverse supply of adaptable, accessible housing that’s fit for people of all ages.
Reasons to Downsize
Alternatively, some old people are happy to relocate to accommodate their needs. You may wish to move closer to loved ones, to save money on maintenance, or be part of a retirement community. Purpose built properties often come equipped with all the mobility aids you could need, or they are easily installed. Moving house is a good option for those who do not mind leaving their homes behind.
At Multicare Mobility, we want to help our customers as much as we possibly can. If you want to stay in your current house, we are confident that we can provide a stairlift suitable for you. For more information, please contact us on 0808 273 4300
Sarah Wirth works for Multicare Mobility specialising in Marketing and Trend-Analysis.