First National Real Estate says this is an increasingly important challenge for Australia’s property market to come to terms with.
“As children move out and nests become empty, homeowners are considering many facets of their post-working lives, including whether to sell up or downsize,” Mr Ray Ellis, CEO First National Real Estate said.
“They need to look at whether they want a tree change, sea change or ‘local change’, where they are able to remain in the same area, but in a different style of accommodation such as a nearby apartment or townhouse, or make alterations to their existing large family home.”
“But no matter what they decide, they need to make sure that their living quarters will suit their changing needs as they progress through their senior years.”
According to Mr Ellis, when looking to buy a house or apartment, or updating the existing home, seniors should take into account certain safety measures.
Inside the home:
- corridors, door frames and turning areas should be able to accommodate a walking frame, wheelchair or mobile-assisted devices
- door and cupboard handles should be easily grasped and at a manageable height
- in multi-storey homes, at least one bedroom and one bathroom should be located on the ground floor
- the bathroom should be large enough to fit a wheelchair or walking frame, and be able to have railings fitted for easy access into and out of baths and toilets
- bench heights in laundries and kitchens should be appropriate for potential disabled access
- stairs, thick carpets and other incidentals that could impede mobility or be easily tripped upon should be avoided.
Outside the home, the site and topography should be considered. If it is too hilly, steep, or has steps, it will be difficult for elderly people to manoeuvre. Car parking should also be on a flat area with easy access to the front door as well as a porch to protect from the elements, and if possible, no stairs.
“It is a good idea for anyone looking at serviceable accommodation for their retirement years to seek the advice of an expert, either building or disability, who can inspect the property and ensure it is suitable for any future changes that may be required,” Mr Ellis said.
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Issued by: First National Real Estate
For further information contact:
Stewart Bunn, National Communications Manager, First National Real Estate, on
0413 624 317
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