The growing number of senior adults in Australia is set to change the way Australians live.

With 15% of the population to be aged 65 by the year 2050, that would represent virtually a fifth of the population. And this development will not just change the population, but also Australian homes.

Builders and contractors are already seeing a trend in people moving ahead and future-proofing their abodes to make them better places to grow old in. And this is not coming just from older folks, but rather from people who are still in their 40s and 50s.

People are already opting to add features to their residences that will help them later on, when traditionally, they would have to move to a retirement home. Instead of going that route, with the modifications that they have put in place, they can instead just stay in their own homes.
People are adding features to their houses that will help them in old age so that when they reach a point where they would traditionally have move to a retirement home, they can stay in their own places instead.

This is particularly seen by the number of lift installations that are being done in residences all over the country.

Owner of CHOICElift Henry Wojciechowski, who is a hipages user, was quoted as saying that he previously only put in lifts in luxury homes, whereas now the trend has become more popular across Australia.

“While a few years back home lifts were typically being installed in luxury homes predominantly around the coastline, they are today being fitted in all areas of large cities including newly created suburbs,” Wojciechowski said.

“There’s also a growing portion being installed into regional towns.

“We’ve certainly observed a few fold increase in interest to install home elevators over the last decade where the main driving factor is future proofing one’s largest lifetime investments — their own homes.

“This trend being seen has not grown due to needs of any particular age group but due to changing perception of a lift in a house – not as an item of luxury but of convenience, also securing or adding value to a property by making it more marketable and accessible for all.

“The most common reason behind installation of a lift in a home is making it easy to access by the owners, their visitors, or extended family living in the same dwelling.”

Compact Home Lifts is another firm that has noticed the surge in demand for the installation of elevators.

David Mayer, NSW State Sales Manager disclosed that roughly 80-90% of their work is now retro-fitting elevators in people’s houses.

Mayers explained that clients say it’s better value to fit a lift for around $29,000 than it would be to shell out for extras such stamp duty and an agent’s commission that come with selling and buying a home. He added that multi-generational living is also an influential factor behind the trend.

“The parents are living upstairs and the [adult] kids are living downstairs — it’s two residencies in the one,” he claimed.

Mayer relayed that the average customer age is in their 70s but added that he’s taking enquiries from those in their 40s more and more.

Compact, which has operations all across Australia, has begun to see more work around the Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie area of New South Wales.

According to data by the ABS in this particular area of NSW — the Mid North Coast — holds the highest percentage of residents aged 65 years and over.

“Ten years ago people would have had no option than to leave the house,” he said. “Now they have the option. [We’re] bringing lifts to the masses.”

Mayer added: “I’ve been doing lifts for 15 years in houses. At first they were only popular with the wealthy… and in the last 3-4 years the general public became aware of it”.

He claims that installing a lift also a lot less complex than most people would imagine it to be.

“The builder comes in Tuesday, we come in Wednesday, the lift is done in two days,” he said. “It used to take two weeks.”

Getting work done on any residence costs money. And if you are in need of a loan, consider taking out a Centrelink loan.

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