Accessibility Issues When Buying A Home


New research commissioned by leading provider of home adaptation solutions EA Mobility, uncovers a disconnect between the importance Brits place on home accessibility and their actual considerations when it comes to finding or modifying a property.

The findings show that while almost half (46%) of Brits believe accessibility in their home is important to them, over two fifths (43%) of those aged 55 and over – the ‘Baby Boomer’ generation – have never actually considered how accessible their home is. In fact, just one in ten (12%) of this group consider accessibility as a priority when looking to purchase a property, with location (67%), cost (58%), and the number of bedrooms/bathrooms (39%) taking precedence.

This research comes at a time where the UK’s population is rapidly ageing, with the number of people aged 65 and over expected to rise to nearly 17 million by 2040[i]. As this demographic shift continues, the need for accessible homes that allow people to live independently for longer will only become more pressing.

The research uncovers a worrying lack of consideration for home accessibility, especially among older homeowners who are more likely to face mobility challenges as they age. In fact, more than a third of people (35%) admit that accessibility in their home has ‘never crossed their mind’ – a surprising figure given that two fifths (39%) of Brits have either struggled with or know someone who has struggled with accessibility in their home.

The importance of thinking about this is reflected in the data, with over three fifths (62%) of those living with a disability considering how accessible their home is – with accessibility in the bathroom, bedroom, and living room revealed as key areas to make accessible.

With searches for ‘forever home’ remaining high, the research also explores the nation’s attitude towards their ‘forever home’ – identifying what people are looking for and when they believe they’ll settle in a forever home. Despite, 45% of adults over State Pension age living with a disability[ii], accessibility ranks low on this list, with local amenities (39%), neighbourhood (38%), and easy maintenance (37%), more important for Brits when searching for the place they plan to stay forever. But how long does a forever home actually last?

The data reveals that the average age Brits think they will move into their forever home is 48. Yet, they believe they will move into a home that is more suited to the needs of being older at an average age of 68 – suggesting the UK’s ‘forever homes’ are lasting just 20 years.

Commenting on the research, Kian Carvell, Commercial Manager at EA Mobility said: “These findings reveal a concerning disconnect when it comes to considering home accessibility, especially among older homeowners who are most likely to face mobility challenges as they age.

“While location, cost, and a number of bedrooms are understandably priorities, it’s worrying that over two-fifths of those aged 55 and over have never considered how accessible their home is.

“We’re not asking people to wish away their lives and feel old before their time, but it is pragmatic to plan for later in life. Or at the very least, we’d encourage people to think about accessibility in their home, as this could help loved ones too.

“With the UK’s population rapidly aging, the need for accessible homes that allow people to live independently for longer will only increase. At EA Mobility, we urge homebuyers and owners to think proactively about their future accessibility needs to create a true forever home that can accommodate them through all stages of life.”

For more information visit www.eamobility.com

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