In the coming decade, every second person will be more than 50 years old and, by 2050, ten per cent of the population will be over 80 years, as average life expectancy increases. This ageing population will create a need for housing interiors that are comfortable, convenient and accessible to those with mobility issues, who are keen to live as long as possible in their own homes.
Foreshadowing this demographic trend and representative of today’s retirement hot spots, Ray and Joan Dabnor are both in their eighties and live in their own three-bedroom house in Whitstable, Kent. Joan has severe mobility problems, following an earlier heart operation and a subsequent trip and fall, so the couple decided to upgrade their main bathroom for enhanced accessibility, on the advice of the hospital. The work was carried out by Granite Transformations and features stylish accessibility products from innovative system provider HEWI.
Joan Dabnor’s mobility issues arose several years ago, after open heart surgery, although she refused to succumb to her condition and got about with a tripod walking aid. Then, when bringing her husband Ray a cup of tea in the garden, she tripped and fell, fracturing her hip and elbow. Although their home has a downstairs cloakroom, the main bathroom was upstairs and the hospital was reluctant to release Joan from their care until a stairlift had been installed and the bathroom converted for disabled access.
Joan and Ray were averse to an ‘institutionalised’ design with walk-in bath and robust grab rails, opting instead for a sleek wetroom look with stylish accessibility products that could be folded away after use or even seamlessly removed. Click here to read more about this project.