Future Homes

If we're lucky, most of us will get to choose where we'll spend our golden years. "I think we're at stage of life where yes, we accept that we're growing old and we're heading toward retirement."

But Alan and Gayle Hindes say they didn't want to follow in the footsteps of their parents. "We've actually experienced nursing homes and retirement villages and to be honest we decided that it was not for us."

Instead, Alan and Gaye decided to design and build their "Forever Home". "We worked with the builder around a design to make sure that you know as we designed the house we could incorporate all the things we needed in the house to enable us to stay in it as long as possible." Gaye visited aged care shops and homes to find out what equipment they'll need as they grow older.

The hallways and door entrances are wide enough for wheel chair access.

In the kitchen, to avoid the dangers of gas, Alan and Gaye chose an electric hot plate that sits at an accessible height and turns off when there's no cookware on its surface.

With the likelihood of arthritis, Gaye chose draw handles that are wide enough to slip your fingers in without having to bend them.

Water temperature controls ensure they won't be scolded in the kitchen or bathrooms.

Director at Devrite Homes, Ron Mangano built Alan and Gayes house fit with draft blocking door seals to anti mould paint.

And to ease the pressure on nursing homes as our population ages, you could be entitled to government subsidies for home care services, including medication checks, help with showering, household chores and meal preparation. There's also transport for shopping and social outings.

"What we're seeing is a lot of people want to stay in their own homes so they're choosing more accessible homes with upgraded features so they can stay in that home for a longer period of time."

Master Builders Director of Housing Geoff Cooper says with an ageing population, the state government has developed a "liveable homes" initiative with ideas and designs to encourage people to build their "forever home". "As our population ages there will be more people affected by disabilities so it's a good idea for people to think about the future use of the house and to make sure you allow for ageing in the home."

Now, they've settled in, all's that's left for Alan Gaye to do is retire and relax.

www.liveablehomes.net.au