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Homes To Age Gracefully In

14 Hartley House bedroom.JPG

Creating a home for ageing in place


As we age, our needs change. We may find it more difficult to climb stairs, navigate narrow hallways, or reach high shelves. If you hope to stay in your home for many years to come, it's important to make some modifications to make it more accessible and comfortable for your changing needs.

Even if you are part of the 55-plus demographic you probably don’t see yourself as old, but you may be thinking about future-proofing your home so that you can stay in it longer, rather than have to move. 

There is a need to make homes fit for every stage of life. By the time people reach 70, a significant minority will have limited mobility and the majority of people older than 85 will have reduced mobility. Falls become increasingly common with ageing and they are a threat to the health and independence of older people.


Meanwhile, very little of the current housing stock is designed for those with mobility challenges, so designing homes to help ageing in place is largely ignored. Fortunately, it is not that difficult to design a home to meet mobility challenges. Stairs and steps pose the greatest difficulty, and negotiating the bathroom is the next biggest issue, so it's important to design homes to address these issues. Here are some features to look for in a home designed for ageing in place:

  • Well-lit level access from the parking area. This will make it easier for you to get in and out of your home, especially if you have mobility issues

  • An entrance with a level threshold. This will eliminate the risk of tripping and falling

  • Ground-floor doorways and hallways wide enough for wheelchair access. This will make it easier to get around your home if you need to use a wheelchair or walker in the future

  • Ground-floor shower room large enough for a wheelchair user. This will allow you to bathe safely and independently, even if your mobility is limited

  • Open-plan layouts. This will reduce the number of obstacles you need to navigate and make it easier to move around your home

  • Showers designed as wet rooms with no upstands or doors to negotiate. This will eliminate the risk of tripping and falling in the bathroom

  • Sit-down showers with built-in seats. This will allow you to shower safely and comfortably, even if you have difficulty standing

  • Comfort-height toilets with well-fitted grab rails. This will make it easier to sit down and stand up from the toilet, and reduce the risk of falls

  • Touch-controlled taps. This will make it easier to turn on and off the water, even if you have limited hand strength

  • Light switches and power sockets at the right height. This will make it easier to reach and use light switches and power sockets, even if you are seated or have limited mobility

  • Level access to the garden. This will allow you to enjoy your garden safely and easily, even if you have mobility issues

  • Visiting space for grandchildren. This is a great way to stay connected with your family and friends

  • Low energy costs. This will help you save money on your energy bills

  • Low maintenance. This will free up your time and energy so that you can focus on the things you enjoy


Partially Sighted

We have worked on several projects that need to take into account the needs of people who are partially sighted. This is often the case with elderly people with failing eyesight and the main requirement is to introduce high-contrast colours into the interior design to ensure they can distinguish between for instance a door and a wall. It often gives us the chance to introduce bold colours that make spaces more interesting to everyone, not just for the partially sighted.

Lifetime Home

Long term these principles may benefit you as you get older and if well designed, your home becomes a Lifetime Home. Read more on our Lifetime Homes page.

What Next?


If you're not sure where to start, get in touch. We offer an affordable sketch design service that can show you what is possible with your existing home or what could be possible for a new home.

By making some simple changes to your home, you can create a space that is safe, comfortable, and accessible for many years to come.

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