Your parents took care of you when you were young and now you want to repay the favour by finding them the perfect place to live, but where do you start? When searching for someone else’s home, it’s important to put yourself in their shoes and take every aspect of their lifestyle into account. Here are some things you’ll need to consider…
Staircase or bungalow?
Think about practiality. If your parents suffer from aching or immobile joints, then a property without stairs is not only simpler but also much safer. Don’t forget to think long-term – your parents may be fit and healthy now, but if their new home is likely to be theirs for a while, think about the future and whether a larger home with stairs is an appropriate choice. If a bungalow or flat is not an option, then make sure there’s space to fit handrails or a stairlift if necessary. Even if stairs aren’t a challenge at present, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead.
Give your home a touch of care
It’s important to make sure nothing is out of reach for your parents in their new home. For example, are the entrances low incline or wheelchair accessible? Are the cupboards and shelves easy to reach? Are the appliances complicated to use? Moving to a new setting can be daunting so it’s a good idea to ensure that their new home feels easy to adjust to.
Your parents may struggle to acclimate to new surroundings, so it’s important to research the area and local community before moving in. Take care of the essentials and make sure you can locate a nearby pharmacy, a bank and convenience shops within reach of the house. You should also take your family’s interests and lifestyle into account by checking if there are any local activity groups, community centres or classes.
Protect your parent’s independence
If your parent is unable to drive, consider homes with accessible transport links or easy walking access to their everyday needs. This way your parents won’t need to rely on you and will be able to keep their independence.
Minimise danger zones
Keep a look out for small things such as cracks in the pavement, uneven surfaces and possible tripping hazards and think about simple ways you can make changes. There are several steps you can take to make your parent’s home as safe as possible, some of which include non-slip mats and flooring, repairing uneven areas on the entrance path, installing rails on either side of the stairs and using contract strips on the stairs to increase visibility.
It might be tempting to go over budget to get closer to finding your parents the perfect home, but this could cause a compromise on their lifestyle if they are unable to afford the things they enjoy due to overstretching the budget. Additionally, the initial cost to purchase the property is one factor, but improvements and repairs, which can sometimes come unexpectedly, can quickly put you in a difficult situation. Prioritise practicality, a good location and a great community and you’ll avoid overspending on extras that can always be added later on.
Feeling at home
Few people will know your parents as well as you do, and therefore you can trust your gut feeling when looking at a property. Can you imagine them living there? Have you already pictured them walking around the local area to grab shopping or go for a walk in the park? Ultimately, you will know if the property feels right or not and if you’re unsure, try to establish what your parent’s goals, likes and interests are to get a better understanding of what their dream home looks like.