At Stiltz Homelifts, the company is a huge advocate of staying in the home you love. “You don’t need to radically change how or where you live when stairs become a barrier,” says Mike Lord, CEO of Stiltz Homelifts. “Selling your place may not be the best move when a home lift could be the straightforward answer.”
If age-friendly living is on your mind then you’ll benefit from understanding all the options. Essentially there are three main choices; single-level properties, retirement communities or staying in your own home and giving it a Stiltz domestic lift makeover.
Bungalows used to be the go-to option for living live life without stairs. However, bagging yourself one is now a rarity as very few new bungalows are being built. This means you might well end up moving away from familiar people and places to secure one. Of course, there are countless flats springing up around the country, but they tend to be more cramped, few have gardens and having neighbours in such close proximity could end up becoming a nuisance.
Also, don’t forget moving is ranked as one of life’s great stresses. Getting caught in a property chain you can’t control is guaranteed to up the blood pressure as will the thought of all the additional costs which rack up, from legal fees to the dreaded stamp duty. Plus, once you finally manage to move, you’ll almost certainly need to redecorate, update fixtures and often buy new furniture; it’s certainly no quick – or cheap – fix.
Retirement and assisted living apartments put on a great show with their glossy marketing, they sell us a lifestyle image which seems idyllic. But all too often reality doesn’t resemble the promise. Increasingly seen as a cheaper alternative to care homes, over-55 developments are becoming more like places for those hitting their 80s. No one talks about the politics which come into play when lots of elderly people live together and bear in mind, ‘losing your own front door’ as one resident put it, could be the biggest, and most costly, mistake you’ll ever make.
Unlike buying a standard lease or freehold property a retirement apartment is not only much more expensive but comes bound up in rules and regulations. Ever-increasing service fees need to be considered. Tensions can arise when you find you’re asked to pay for communal areas you never use, discovering other residents spend every waking hour using communal heating, light and power, in preference to their own flats. Then there is the much-hated exit fee. To sell an apartment in a retirement development can set you back by as much as 30% of the sale value so once you’re in, there may be no turning back.
A survey by the Centre for Ageing Better has found 80 percent of older people want to stay in their own home, with independence being the main priority together with keeping surroundings familiar. Consequently, more people are now adapting for ‘ageing in place’.
Taking things one step at a time, you speak with Occupational Therapists, interior designers and equipment specialists like Stiltz Homelifts to create the ideal balance of future-proofed features without the costly upheaval of moving. You can set budgets and have building work done when it suits you. Stay in control, and adapt your home gradually as your needs change.
Difficulty in getting up and down stairs tends to be the first sign of us slowing down. Choosing a domestic lift from the Stiltz home lifts range as soon as we notice this means saying goodbye to any struggles and welcoming in safety for many years to come. Being able to maintain an existing lifestyle is priceless and, there are no further hidden costs to factor in. So why go through the dramatic upheaval of moving when life can continue at a leisurely pace in your forever home.
Stay safe with Stiltz.
An Occupational Therapist’s viewpoint from Stuart Barrow, OT:
“As an Occupational Therapist we often prioritise adapting a person’s home for accessibility over moving for several reasons. Firstly, staying put preserves familiarity and emotional comfort. Some disabilities and impairments can be exacerbated in unfamiliar environments. Secondly, adapting the home can be cost effective compared to moving expenses, staying put allows individuals to maintain their social connections and community ties. Thirdly, personalising adaptations like domestic lifts cater to specific needs, promoting independence and enhancing quality of life. Finally, staying put aligns with the principles of ageing in place, promoting autonomy and dignity.”