Increasing numbers of people are taking the decision to invest in future-proofing their homes. But what is future-proofing and what are the benefits?
What is Future-proofing?
The idea of future-proofing is to make the home suitable for the owner to ‘age in place,’ to stay in the family home into their senior years rather than having to move. People in their younger years think ahead and prepare their homes ready for when they are older and their mobility needs will potentially change. Future-proofing takes into account safety issues and potential hazards around the home, such as kitchen and bathroom risks, and access issues like door widths, stairs and steps.
Someone future-proofing their home might look at the key areas of their house and their own personal health risks, be that mobility, sight or hearing loss, or the risk of falls. They then make the appropriate adjustments needed to rectify any potential problems. For example, someone with an early diagnosis suggesting walking might become difficult would want to consider alternative options for the stairs, or someone facing deteriorating vision might make suitable adjustments to the home ahead of time.
What are the benefits?
Future-proofing has many benefits. It allows people to stay in the ‘forever home’ without having to give up a house that they love and which they have decorated and furnished to their taste, rather than having to move. They can stay within the community with which they are connected, rather than uprooting to a new area. And it saves the money of having to move into assisted living or a care home before they really need to, simply because of access issues in the family home.
Many adaptations made for futureproofing purposes actually make the home a safer place for people of all ages too. A kitchen with appliances at waist height for example is good for dealing with hot food whether you are a young person or a senior.
The ultimate benefit however, must be the peace of mind future-proofing affords those who have taken measures to ensure that their home will continue to be a safe and suitable place for them to live as seniors.
What are the most popular changes?
The best future-proofing changes are those that will make the most difference to the home in senior years, but also add value to the home right away.
One of the most popular adaptions to the home for future-proofing is the installation of a home elevator. Understandably many people realize that the stairs are likely to be the single biggest access problem within the home, and look at the alternatives. Unlike the bulky and unattractive stair lift which would look out of place in the home of a younger household, a sleek and elegant home elevator by Stiltz blends into to any décor and adds not only a ‘wow factor’ to the home but also a practical solution to busy family life.
When a residential elevator has been installed, should the owner suddenly need to move house, it has been shown that home elevators can increase the value of a property. Alternatively, Stiltz residential elevators can be easily uninstalled from a home, and reinstalled in a new property should the owner wish.