Accessible accommodation in old age

Barriers can sometimes make sense and protect you from harm

Balcony railings prevent falls, while a red traffic light prevents vehicles from colliding on the roads. But there are other kinds of barriers that restrict both independence and mobility, and thus freedom in everyday life.

Accessible accommodation – meaning with very few or no barriers – means a home free of obstacles and places that can cause you to trip, slip and fall. Steps, thresholds and narrow doors can all become barriers in older age. But these can be overcome. By making a few alterations, you will be able to move around your home unimpeded as you grow old and manage everyday life without the need for outside help. A needs-based, accessible home enhances your comfort and convenience, and helps avoid injuries caused by falls. Social contacts can also be easier to maintain: a home without steps and raised thresholds is far more convenient, both for you and for visitors – be they in a wheelchair or pushing a child in a pram.