Majority of Aussies have not done enough to modify property

New research has found that older Australians’ desire to remain living at home increases with age.

Preparation needed to stay at home

New research has found that older Australians’ desire to remain living at home increases with age, however, the majority of people have not done enough to modify their properties, creating the risk they will be forced to make unwanted accommodation decisions under duress.

Research conducted by the Global Centre for Modern Ageing (GCMA) and released this week in the report Ageing in the Right Place, An Australian Perspective found that despite wanting to stay at home, only 17 per cent of the older Australians surveyed thought their home would require repairs or modifications to enable them to do so.

Even among those experiencing difficulties at home, only 40 per cent of respondents acknowledged the need for home modifications.

GCMA chief executive Julianne Parkinson said the research identified a need for greater public education around home modifications to help people understand what was required, the options available to them and the processes involved before decisions are rushed or forced.

“For people who have identified the need to make changes around their home, our research identified key barriers to home modifications, including affordability and being able to find trusted builders and tradespeople,” Ms Parkinson said.

The GCMA’s research director, Stuart Smith, said older people increasingly wanted to remain living in their own home.

“The GCMA’s research revealed that almost two-thirds of those aged 75-plus think they will stay in their home, which is double that of the youngest cohort surveyed (55-64 years),” Dr Smith said.

“Helping people to remain independently in their homes is increasingly important. However, we know that this may not always be possible, so it is also critical to understand how ‘home’ can be created in any place of residence.”

To assist in this transformation, the research identifies seven distinct needs that determine the ‘right’ place for people as their circumstances change.

The seven needs of the ‘right’ place identified are: choice, safety, comfort, access, independence, connection, and happiness.

What modifications have you made to your home to assist you to stay in your home longer? What are the barriers to making modifications to your home?

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6th Feb 2020
If I could afford an inclinataor,m I would be able to stay in my home. Unfortunately way too expensive
Fair Dinkum
6th Feb 2020
we have a 2 story house and found it to expensive to have a lift or traveler installed. we have decided to install a new kitchen in downstairs where we have a large bathroom large dining lounge area and 2 large bedrooms but no stairs.
The new kitchen cost about half that the lift/travelater was going to cost. l recently completely renovated the bathroom so that's ok which includes a washing machine. Still a reasonable fit 76 year old so able to do the painting and other things to reduce the cost so hopfully can remain in home for many years providing my wife and i stay healyhy

6th Feb 2020
"What are the barriers to making modifications to your home?"
No. 1 problem is finding a reliable and decent tradesperson or builder, as all / most local advertisements seem to be by sharks waiting to rip you off without assuring quality.
Designated Driver
6th Feb 2020
Different levels of Government used to provide assistance & subsidies, for home modifications, to assist the elderly.
Maybe they still do?

"The GCMA’s research director, Stuart Smith, said older people increasingly wanted to remain living in their own home."

This is hardly surprising, given that when you go into an age care establishment, you never come out and can't even leave, for short periods, without their approval.
As for home assistance, it may sound good in theory, but in reality can be notoriously unreliable.
6th Feb 2020
Planning for the future where you have reduced income requires thinking about the costs, - if you can't meet the costs you will have to sell your home and go elsewhere.
Many people do not look closely at their costs, - some are avoidable or reducible, eg. Power, Food, communications, water, transport.
Some are not, - rates, for example, although may have a pensioner discount, must be paid.
Power usage can be reduced by careful usage and energy efficient appliances, further reduced by solar panels on the roof and even further by a battery bank to allow one to be self sufficient. these items will require maintenance inc.replacement in the longer term so should be designed with minimal maintenance.
Work through the list, a home garden makes sense, but try to design it so re-chargeable electric tools can help you maintain it
Just raising issues.
6th Feb 2020
Renters have limited choices.
6th Feb 2020
Renters have limited choices.
6th Feb 2020
Well yes, not their home, but i guess they feel it is.
6th Feb 2020
Make sure you have concrete - walker-wheels get bogged. If you have an upstairs and a downstairs, then make sure downstairs has a bathroom, European laundry and room for a fridge and microwave. Stay fit.
6th Feb 2020
We had our bathroom changed a little, we changed our shower so there was no steps, and no doors, switched from ceramic tile to vinyl, and added several handrails, plus a solid metal post to put the shower wand onto. We live in a house on the flat, and have paving and decking that lets us leave the house using no steps.

I got to see first hand how debilitated one can get as my husband declined over many years and it was obvious that the work we had done was essential for him to be able to stay at home the last two years before he had to have 24 hour nursing. It was the best money we have spent. It was not cheap, but it is worth more than what we paid to us. We had advice from an occupational therapist who did a fabulous job of helping us see what we needed, before we needed it. It took a year to make the decision.
6th Feb 2020
She was able to recommend a reliable person to do the work. Someone who does bathrooms for nursing homes would have the experience with both the needs and the materials. We managed to keep our bathroom from looking like a thoughtless retrofit.
6th Feb 2020
I agree that finding the trades people is the hardest bit.

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