At some point, we must all ask ourselves the question: “Where do I want to live in my old age?” The answer is often “in my own property”. However, this is only possible when the property is adapted to one’s individual needs in old age or to the specific conditions of any health problems. One thing is important: getting an early start to making one’s home barrier-free or wheelchair-accessible.
Use our checklist for barrier-free property conversions to see whether your property makes for a suitable home in old age:
- There is no level access to the garden
- The kitchen counter is too high and doesn’t feature height-adjustable kitchen units
- The bathroom doesn’t feature a height-adjustable sink or toilet. There is also no walk-in shower
- All the doorways in the property – including the exit to the garden – are too narrow
- The patio by the house is not slip-proof; there is a danger of falling if mobility is limited
You should also find out if the time has come to make your home age-appropriate and barrier-free:
- Initial mobility impairments make it difficult or impossible to go upstairs. Poorer mobility may also lead to increased risk of falling on the stairs
- When driving in old age age-related problems become a continual challenge. This may mean that you are less likely to use your car
- Your children have left home and the house is now too big for you alone
- There are urgent repairs to be made in and around the house, but you are no longer physically able to do these yourself
- Due to advancing age, you are having to visit the doctor or hospital more frequently, but can no longer get there without a vehicle. The next emergency department is also a long way away.
- Housework and gardening are becoming increasingly difficult. Daily life is becoming challenging
- You need daily care or are reliant on the help of friends and relatives
You are bound to think of additional issues that you can add to your list. However, if you have decided that you need to take action, you must carry out the conversion work as soon as possible. The earlier you plan it, the cheaper the conversion will be. Together with an estate agent, you can select construction experts and check what kind of costs you are likely to incur.
If you discover that you cannot afford the costs of a barrier-free and wheelchair-accessible conversion, or if the DIN Standard 18040-2 (construction regulations for residential buildings and residential complexes) cannot be adhered to due to conservation requirements, a move is the better option. But what should you do with your property? With the help of an estate agent, you can decide whether to sell or rent your property.
Are you unsure whether your property is still right for you? Get in touch with us! We will be happy to give you free and non-binding advice.
In this text, the generic masculine is used for better readability. Feminine and other gender identities are explicitly included to the extent necessary for the statement.
Disclaimer: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice in individual cases. Please consult a solicitor and/or accountant to clarify the circumstances of your specific case.
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