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.