5 things to avoid when choosing a home to grow old in

1. Stairs

1. Stairs

Most of us know to look for a home that is single level, but don't forget about exterior access. Stay away from homes that have steep inclines or stairs from the street or garage. Easy access is the name of the game.

2. Garages that are hard to park in

Tight Garage 2.jpg

Let's face it. Our eyesight isn't what it used to be. So why test your temper (and give the panel beater business) by choosing a home with a garage that requires Lewis Hamilton-like driving skills to park in? If you want a home with a garage, choose one that's easy to pull into and has plenty of room for your car.

3. A bathtub that is hard to get in and out of

Senior Friendly Bathtub.jpg

Free-standing bathtubs are definitely in fashion but they're a no-no for us seniors. Have your home fitted with a senior-friendly bathtub such as the one shown above. They're not as cool as free-standing tubs but they're the way to go if you want to remain in your home long-term.

4. Lots of Garden Maintenance

Vast sweeping lawns are pretty...until you have to mow them. Don't get caught with a yard that is too much for you to maintain. You're supposed to be reading the newspaper and playing with your grand kids, not toiling all day to mow the grass. If you can't afford to pay someone to maintain the yard, pick a home with a small flat area of grass and easy to maintain garden beds.

5. Low kitchen cupboards instead of drawers

Look for kitchens that employ drawers rather than cupboards for storage under the kitchen bench. Cupboards mean you'll have to squat down to see what's at the back.

Phil Markham