Email: info@grannyannexe.com
Call Free: 0800 334 5774
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Granny Annexe Bedfordshire

Decorating Your Granny Annexe at Christmas

What does one of our Granny Annexes look like at Christmas?

One of our customers has decorated their annexe and they even have room for a tree, so we’d thought we’d share a few pictures with you:

Decorate Your Granny Annexe at Christmas - case study - living area

You can see a Christmas tree easily fits in a Granny Annexe

Decorate Your Granny Annexe at Christmas - case study - living area

Red is a lovely warming festive colour

The full case study will be uploaded soon, so do keep posted.

Need more tips for decorating your Granny Annexe at Christmas?

We’ve come up with the following tips to help you make to most of decorating your Granny Annexe at Christmas:

  1. Use throws over the sofa and chairs to make an impact. You can take them off in the New Year or when you come to spring clean – a great temporary boost of colour!
  2. You can complement your throw with cushions of various colours. If each cushion has picks up a colour that’s in the throw, then it all ties together very nicely.
  3. Use the height in your annexe. You may need assistance to put up Christmas decorations above a certain height however by making use of the height, it gives you more surface space for other things.
  4. Have a tree. Some people do have the misconception that granny annexes are too small to have a tree however a modest tree can easily fit into a granny annexe, as shown above. Placing your tree on a table or stand makes it easier to decorate as you don’t have to bend down so much to put the baubles on!
  5. If you like plants then a Poinsettia is a must. Do be careful not to place them near areas which are too hot or too cold as this will kill the plant. This ‘goldilocks’ plant likes to be kept out of draughts too and do remember to wrap the plant up before taking from the shop to your home. For further information on how to care for your poinsettia, view this article from the Telegraph.

Need some inspiration for decorating your Granny Annexe?

Take a look at the following home articles:

  1. Homemade Christmas Ideas
  2. 88 Country Christmas Decorations – from Country Living Magazine
  3. Christmas Decorating Ideas – from Martha Stewart
  4. Christmas Ideas – from House to Home

 


Granny Annexe Christmas Opening Hours

Merry Christmas everyone, from the team here at Granny Annexe.

We are letting you know our Christmas and New Year’s opening hours in advance:

December 23rd 2015 – Open 08:00 – 17:00
December 24th 2015 – Open 08:00 -13:00 – Closed from 13:00
December 25th 2015 – Closed
December 26th 2015 – Closed
December 27th 2015 – Closed
December 28th 2015 – Closed
December 29th 2015 – Closed
December 30th 2015 – Closed
December 31st 2015 – Closed
January 1st 2016 – Closed
January 2nd 2016 – Closed
January 3rd 2016 – Closed
Monday 4th 2016 – Open 08:00 – 17:00

Should you have any queries, please contact us via email or telephone in advance of the above dates:

e: info@grannyannexe.com
t: 0800 334 5774
w: www.grannyannexe.com


Granny Annexe with large bathroom and a bath

We often get asked whether our Granny Annexes can be designed with bath tubs installed, as most of our garden buildings tend to feature shower rooms. The answer is simply, yes.

Our standard bathroom suites are white gloss with chrome handles, which are easy to keep clean and look modern. We can also include baths for people with mobility issues or for people who are disabled. Walk in baths with a side door to get in and out of the bath are also available too, however this design isn’t within our standard range.

Our baths have mixer taps and fixed panel and gloss white Aqua panels. An electric shower can also be fitted above the bath onto the wall, for a shower/bath combo. Other standard features within our bathrooms are a W/C, wash hand basin with vanity unit and a heated chrome, ladder style towel rail.

Wall rails and grab rails can be installed in the bathroom to aid mobility and help people to get in and out of the bath or shower easily – shower seats can also be fitted too. We have also installed bath lifts for previous customers too, which enable you to be lowered into the bath by using a fabric band.

Bath with bath lift

Bath with bath lift

Our bathroom complete with bath & shower

Our bathroom complete with bath & shower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recommend purchasing the following products from a reputable supplier to also help with moving in and out of the bath. These include items like leg lifters, transfer benches and bath seats. Our bathrooms are bespoke to your needs, so if you have a specific requirement, please don’t hesitate to let your Surveyor know during your site survey visit.

 

While it is still fresh in your mind, book a free, no obligation site survey.

Click Here


Back to Nature

Having built your perfect home, what better way to spend your time than in the garden watching out for all the fantastic wildlife the UK has to offer?

There are a few things you can do to release the full potential of our garden:

Green fingers –

Use plants that provide food and shelter. Fragrant flowers like buddleia, lavender, dandelions or bluebells will attract butterflies and bees, and fruit trees and shrubs are a favourite for mammals and birds.

Get creative –

Make a log pile with unwanted pieces of wood; this creates a perfect habitat for insects and shelter for other animals. Alternatively, a rock pile has similar benefits with many animals making the gaps and cracks their home. Both of these are great, simple options as they don’t need any maintaining and can be left untouched for years.

Go organic –

Avoid using pesticides, because they can be harmful to various animals and interrupt the food chain. Birds and hedgehogs eat pests so they will be controlled naturally.

Recycle –

Start composting by having a compost pile or bin. You can use unwanted vegetation from your garden like grass cuttings and fallen leaves, along with house waste like vegetable or fruit peel, paper, teabags, eggshells, coffee grounds and filters. This will provide shelter and food for many species. Avoid meat and dairy leftovers as this may encourage vermin.

Provide a source of water

If you haven’t got a bird bath or small pond, a washing-up bowl set into the ground will be just as efficient and beneficial.

Don’t waste –

Cut up fruit that is too ripe and leave it in your garden instead of throwing it away, this will attract animals.

Have a ‘wild corner’ –

Leave part of your garden uncut, this will provide shelter and a varied habitat for many animals and instead of worrying about maintenance, you can sit back and watch it flourish.

Make a home –

Buy or make a nesting box for birds or even bats to nest in. Make sure you put it in a sheltered place and high enough and so it’s out of reach from cats.

Build a bee hotel –

A bundle of hollow stems or bamboo shoots can be tied together and hung to create a perfect environment for bees and keep them returning year after year.

Use climbing plants –

You can encourage climbers like ivy or jasmine to grow on garden walls as somewhere for birds to nest and to provide pollen for bees, butterflies and insects.


Downsizing without Downgrading

Downsizing your home doesn’t mean you need to downgrade your lifestyle; a small luxury home, could offer a significant improvement in quality of life.

Putting your house on the market and clearing out decade’s worth of possessions’ can be cathartic, but for most it’s overwhelming. Downsizing will defiantly take some adjustment, but it is definitely not as daunting as it may seem.

Some key things to bear in mind when considering a downsize and make the process a little easier;

 

  • Use floor plans to prearrange your furniture before the move. This is another useful reality check. To start, draw plans if you don’t have any, and sketch in a furniture layout. Then look at the plans realistically; if you’ve crammed in side tables, armoires and chairs, you need to edit more. Don’t wait until after you move to contend with furniture you’ll just end up tripping over.
  • Plan your space according to your current needs, don’t plan around future possibilities.
  • Make a list of what you really want to keep and review it regularly while building your granny annexe
  • Ask children to take what they want now so you only have what you need and not more.
  • Take the opportunity to create a new lifestyle, take the attitude “If it doesn’t fit, sell or donate”.
  • Get a feel for the size of your new rooms by comparing them to rooms of similar dimensions in your present home. For instance, your living-room-to-be might be roughly the same size as your current bedroom. You may think you can squeeze in two sofas, but this kind of reality check could help you realise that only one will fit comfortably.

Building your new annexe. What to expect:

Building your granny annexe is a process that takes place with minimum disruption to your daily routine. We’re aware that any construction work causes some upheaval, so to reduce your stress levels, we hope the following will give you peace of mind.

In as little as 3-4 weeks, your annexe will be built, decorated and finished, with all the finishes touches applied and is ready to move in to. We take care of all the painting and decorating, any last minute tweaks and everything is thoroughly cleaned before we hand over the keys to you.

This is how it is done:

Week 1:

The heavy work begins. We’ll carry out all the digging and install the foundations and all drainage. We’ll also construct the building shell and the roof.

Week 2:

Time to get on with the interior. The exterior paneling goes on and then we undertake the initial electrics,plumbing and complete the plastering.

Week 3:

The things that make a house a home. Kitchens, showers, bedrooms are installed and decorated by our team of interior specialists.

 

 


7 of the best kitchen aids for Seniors.

 

 

It’s a well known fact that as we get older seemingly simple tasks like opening jars, peeling potatoes or even chopping veg become much more of an effort. Below are 7 of the most helpful gadgets for the kitchen that will make preparing food a doddle.

 

opener6 in 1 Multi Jar/Bottle Opener –

This Multi Opener has a durable and comfortable grip and opens six different types of seals and lids with ease.The unique tool removes hard-to-grasp safety seals, opens metal bottle caps, can ring pulls, and stubborn jar lids or bottle tops. The unique enclosed blade feature cleanly slices open tightly sealed bags.It weighs just 99g

 

 

spreadboard

 

 Spreadboard –

 

Thoughtfully designed for one handed use this Spreadboard allows you to spread condiments easier. It features an easy-to-clean plastic holder,non-slip feet and a downward curved lip which keeps the Spreadboard securely in place.

workstation

The kitchen workstation

This Kitchen Workstation is an easy to use multi functional food preparation unit, providing assistance with everyday kitchen tasks. Including a removable grater and slicer, clamp, bread holder for one handed spreading and a removable stainless steel spike for holding fruit or vegetables.

 

 

Kettlle TipperKettle Tipper

This new and innovative kettle tipper is designed to be compatible with most kettle types including standard, jug and cordless kettles. The kettle tipper has a lever at either side that can be used to tip the kettle while it is held in place, without the user having to actually lift the water. This reduces the effort required and potential strain on the wrist that can occur when holding the kettle handle.

 

 

knives

 

 

 Ergonomic Kitchen Knives

 

 

These knives are designed for people with impaired mobility or strength in their hands and arms. The angle of the handle allows the user to keep their wrist straight; this makes efficient use of the strength in their arms and hands. These ergonomic handle of these smaller knives allows users to easily cut food while sitting down

peeler

 

 Peeling vegetables

 

This Scraper & Spike is a useful device that has a grating unit with a plate metal mesh blade for peeling or grating, also has a stainless steel spike for holding vegetables when peeling manually

 

taps

 

 Universal Tap and Knob turner

 

The universal tap and knob turner makes everyday tasks such as turning taps, switching on a washing machine or operating a microwave easier for those with limited strength in their arms or hands.  The turner features a comfortable handle that enables the user to grip and turn with both hands

 

 

 

 

 


Making your Granny Annexe accessible

We all want to stay in our homes for as long as we can, so it’s important to look at things you can do and equipment to install to help you do to keep independent for as long as possible.

In the bathroom

1) Removable bath boards

Removable bath boards provide a seated platform area over the bath, you sit on the board and turn to sit over the bath. If you experience difficulty stepping in/out of the bath it may be safer to transfer by using the board then by trying to step over the rim.

However, you still need to raise your legs over the bath rim, or have assistance to do this from a family member/carer.

2) Commode

If you are struggling to get to the toilet in another part of your home you could consider a commode.

There are a wide range of commodes available including metal framed, plastic frame, wooden frame, cane commodes and armchair style commodes so you should find one to suit your home.

Folding commodes are also available that can be stored away when not in use.

In the kitchen

3) Food preparation boards

The design of these boards varies, they may have a clamp system to either stabilise food when you’re cutting it or to secure bottles and tins when you’re opening them. They may also have spikes to secure fruit or vegetables when you’re cutting or peeling them, most have a non-slip base.

Around the home

4) Newel rails

You may already have a banister rail, and even a matching wall mounted rail on the other side of your stairs but is there anything to hold onto at the turn in the stairs? Newel rails are designed to be installed on the newel post and turn through 90 degrees around the post giving you a continuous hand rail as your turn the

5) Remote control plugs and lighting

Plug sockets are often mounted low on the wall near the floor. If you are regularly turning a low socket on/off then you may find it easier, and safer to add a remote control socket that you can turn on/off from your armchair.

Remote control adaptors are also available for light sockets, with the receiver installed between the bulb and the fitting.

If you have low vision

6) Clocks and watches

A range of clocks and watches are available including clocks and watches with clear bold displays, talking clocks/watches and clocks and watches with a tactile face (you can feel the hands and position of dial markers).

7) Labelling systems

The devices in this section have a portable reader/scanner. When this is used to touch small labels or cards which you have attached to items the reader automatically plays back your associated pre-recorded messages. Alternatively, some will scan an item’s barcode and state what the item is.

If you have difficulty hearing

8) Home sound indicators

These are a range of products designed to let someone who is hard of hearing, or deaf, know that certain sound events are happening in their home.

This may include the phone ringing, the door bell, or smoke alarm. Some indicators flash a strobe or the house lights, others vibrate a pager, worn by the user.

Medication management

9) A range of gadgets are available to help you manage your medication

Dosett boxes help you to arrange your medication which may make it easier to keep track of what you’ve taken. Some have a clock with alarms that can be set to remind you when the medication is due.

Medication dispensers can be set up to sound an alarm when the medication is due and then offer the due medication, the next dose is not available until it’s due. If you have difficulty getting tablets out of the blister pack aids are available, as are pill splitters and pill crushers.

Obtaining help

10) Home alarms and pagers

If you don’t live on your own, and may need a method to tell your relative/carer that you need help when they’re in another part of your home you could consider a home pager.

They are available with a portable pendant worn by the user and pager worn by the carer.

If the user presses the button on the pendant the pager bleeps or vibrates to alert the carer, even if they’re in the garden. If you do live on your own consider a telecare alarm system or autodialler.

 


iPad Gadgets for the elderly

Technology has become a part of everyday life for all ages, especially the iPad, with its user friendly interface and touch screen keypad keeping tech savvy has never been so simple.

With the elderly in mind, below are some simple to use timesaving apps to assist with day to day life.

 

Help with medication, reading and hearing:

PILL REMINDER PRO, 69p

  • Enter in the name of your pill, dosage, frequency, and what time(s) of day, and Pill Reminder sends a message via PUSH alert. Reviews on the Apple app store are mixed, but one user writes they “can’t do without this”

VIZWIZ, FREE,

  • This app, developed by a team from the University of Rochester, is targeted at partially-sighted users. It allows users to take a picture with their phone, speak a question and receive multiple spoken answers. Find out more about the app on the www.rochester.edu

READ2GO, £13.99,

  • This Daisy (digital talking books) book e-reader allows users to browse, search, download and read books directly from Bookshare, as well as read Daisy books and publications from other sources. The app allows users to control visual choices for font size and colour, background and highlighting colour, and text-to-speech preferences and was a recent app of the month recommendation by the RNIB

DRAGON DICTATION, FREE,

  • This voice-recognition application allows users to dictate text, or email messages and see them instantly. Users can also dictate status updates for Facebook, tweets, or send themselves notes and reminders. A user on the Enabled by Design site says: “I’ve been using Dragon Naturally Speaking for about a year now for all emails, letters etc, as my hand mobility makes typing difficult. I have no complaints at all. Dragon constantly surprises me as it ‘learns’ so quickly”

Help with shopping

WHICH? YOUR RIGHTS– FREE

  • The mobile guide to consumer rights, from dealing with faulty goods to returning unwanted Christmas gifts. It offers sample letters to send to retailers and two lengthy sections on the Consumer Credit Act and the Sale of Goods Act

VOUCHERCLOUD -FREE

  • This app from one of the original money-saving coupon websites offers on-the-go discount vouchers, allowing cash-strapped consumers to search for nearby shops, restaurants, cinemas, leisure outlets, garden centres and other high street outlets offering discounts. They then download a voucher to obtain the discount and show it to the vendor without having to print anything out. Just watch out for the terms and conditions – few restaurant deals, for example, are available at the weekend

IDEALO -FREE

  • An app that allows cost-conscious shoppers to scan the barcode on a product and search for the cheapest place to buy it. The app will find price information on three million products online

Cookery

JAMIE’S RECIPES, FREE.

  • Jamie Oliver’s recipes app is at its best on iPad, with a full-screen mode ideal for propping a safe distance away from cooking mess. Ten recipes and videos are included, with additional themed packs costing £1.69 in-app

VEGGIE LOVE COOKBOOK 69p.

  • Better Homes and Gardens magazine has produced over 50 vegetarian recipes, with step by step guides and a shopping list feature

Social media

TWITTER – FREE.

  • Twitter on iPad is quick and easy to use, and maybe even the best device for tweeting. Great for keeping in touch and venting forth with ideas

SKYPE -FREE.

  • Skype on iPad retains the features that have made the internet-calling service so popular on computers, including voice calls and instant messaging. It’s the full-screen video calls that make the iPad version an essential, though

General knowledge

GOOGLE EARTH – FREE.

  • Google’s planet-mapping service is perfect for the iPad, allowing people to zoom your way around the world.

SOLAR SYSTEM FOR IPAD £9.99.

  • This rich iPad book-app blends text, 3D planets and moons, videos, images and diagrams across more than 150 digital pages, to impressive effect.

STAR WALK FOR IPAD £2.99.

  • This identifies stars, constellations and satellites.

Culture

THE WASTE LAND £9.99.

  • Faber pulled out all the stops for this iPad app of TS Eliot’s famous poem, with audio and video readings, copious notes and original manuscript scans

BOOK CREATOR FOR IPAD £4.99.

  • There are plenty of book-apps for the iPad, but this one is about making your own e-book. It’s simple to combine your own photos and text

Entertainment

BBC IPLAYER FREE

  • iPlayer catch-up TV service really comes into its own on the iPad, with a slick tablet interface for browsing and searching for shows, plus full-screen viewing

PAINTERLY £1.49

  • This is one of the most creative digital artist apps for iPad, with more than 60 virtual brushes to work with. Its key feature is the ability to import your own photos and then paint with their pixels

INSTAPAPER £2.99

  • The app lets you save online articles and blog posts to read them later, making them available offline too

123D SCULPT -FREE

  • This is a digital sculpting app: you pinch and rub the screen to mould virtual clay, buying in-app theme packs for 69p each including “Medieval” and “Transportation”. A tactile and creative delight

THE ECONOMIST ON IPAD -FREE

  • In keeping with the magazine’s brand, the Economist‘s iPad app is a model of elegant understatement, offering digitised issues for £3.99 each or as part of a subscription. The option to have articles read aloud is welcome too for older people

KINDLE -FREE

  • A large collection of ebooks, including regular discounts and offers. It also syncs your reading position across different devices

ZINIO– FREE

  • Zinio is a magazine store and reader app with a wide catalogue of publications available, from sport and politics through to music and lifestyle. You can choose to buy single issues or full subscriptions

Help with the community

FIXMYSTREET -FREE

  • An app to help people report problems in their local area, directly to the council, from their phone.

The key to a successful Granny Annexe

In coming years, the proportion of the population over 80 is going to increase significantly. The advantages granny annexes are set to increase too.

The number of people aged over 85 will increase by 184% over the next 30 years, this will have a massive impact on the housing market, which will have to match their needs. Houses will soon need to be suitable for the elderly, and in a generation’s time, it may be a case of having the grandparents in the main house, and the great-grandparents in the annexe.

The key to a successful Granny Annexe is to plan ahead. The intended occupant may be highly mobile now, but will this always be the case? Generally, elderly relatives like large rooms, as much-loved pieces of furniture can be accommodated. Usually it’s the number of rooms they want to reduce not the dimensions they’re downsizing to.

Sockets at floor level should normally be avoided, as well as high shelves and low cupboards. Under-counter appliances can be difficult to access and control switches and knobs should be in easily reachable locations. However, arthritic hands find lever handles easier to manoeuvre than knobs, which require twisting.

Make sure that the flat is carpeted, especially the bedroom. Carpets give far better grip, and if you’re going to have a fall, better it’s on this than on a hard floor. Rugs on wooden floors are a particular menace.


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