I am 60, fit and happy and live in an older building with my wife. What do I need a flat suitable for the elderly for?
That depends on your health, that of your wife and that of your visitors. It may be the case—indeed, it is very probable—that the two of you can carry on living in your present “normal flat” without any problems until the end of your lives. But that is not thinking for the future. If it does happen in 10 or 20 years’ time that one of you is no longer so fit after all, you need housing suitable for the elderly. Think about it for a minute: you will not want to move then. You will not want to convert your home then. That is where your problem begins. Is it not time to take action now?

I’ll look for something suitable once I’m old. Why should I begin looking now?
Once you are old, there is no longer anything suitable. Even now, there is far too little housing suitable for the elderly. And the baby boomer years facing retirement are still to come.

“ready”—what does that mean?
“ready” means housing prepared to be suitable for the elderly. It is the answer to how a home can be adapted ideally to make it suitable for the elderly. The decisive point is that even a perfectly normal family home can be prepared to be suitable for the elderly. But the point is that it is only prepared, ready! The individual adaptation is only made when the specific need arises. It is a bit like a car that is prepared for an accident. We have developed the airbag for housing as it were.

What is the point of all that? After all, we already have the “ease of access” standard?
Suitable for the elderly means more than just “easy to access”. While the standard can be applied to a great extent, there are still some other important areas left: comfort and safety A large balcony. Low windows sun blinds. A staircase that is convenient to use, for example.

I keep seeing bathtubs here: is that what suitable for the elderly means?
Suitable for the elderly does not necessarily mean suitable for the handicapped. Our idea is to make preparations so that the family home with its bathtub can be converted in no time to be suitable for a rollator or wheelchair.

Suitable for the retired, few obstacles, suitable for the elderly. Is that all defined precisely somewhere?
No, there is no binding definition for that. Nor is there a standard. We have tried to find the best possible definition for the term “suitable for the elderly”.

Why are there the three levels: basic, standard, comfort? Would a general definition not be better?
As is so often the case, that depends on the financial possibilities of the individual. Just like the size of the home. Not everyone can afford a super-large flat. That is why we have tried to develop a minimum standard (basic). The average “standard” is recommendable. If it were possible to wish for a lot, then take the “comfort” standard.

Why only in new buildings?
In new buildings, the financial outlay is very minor – compared to upgrading an old building. In old buildings, the costs are much higher—if the measures can be implemented at all.

What is it all supposed to cost?
That depends on the scope of the preparations. That is why we have introduced three levels (basic, standard, comfort). Our main concern is to keep the investment costs as low as possible. In the minimum standard, the additional costs are only a few percentage points.

Who can advise me?
Your architect. If you would like to know more details, we shall be pleased to help at info@readyhome.de. For preliminary information, we recommend that you read our “ready” brochure. You can either download it directly here or order it free of charge in the menu item “Contact”.

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