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Opinion: Why home modification planning should be on your agenda for 2024  

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In the grand journey of life, there often comes a time when we need to consider home modification planning. Unfortunately for many, this is left far too late.

Too many Australians delay home modification planning until they absolutely need it, leading to missed opportunities and unnecessary challenges.

For Managing Director of Home Care Nurses Australia, Busi Faulkner, home modification planning was something that never crossed her mind until she suffered a shock heart attack at just 33 years old and was suddenly no longer able to do the things she used to.

It was from that experience of helplessness and she sought external help, having two young children at the time, that she was inspired to found her business, Home Care Nurses Australia.

Now, having worked in the home care industry for over a decade, Busi says the one common denominator of her clients who are able to stay at home the longest is modification preparedness.

Her top points for why home modification planning should be on your list for 2024 are:

1. Anticipating changing needs

Life is ever-changing, and our needs evolve over time. By planning ahead, we can anticipate the modifications required to accommodate those changes. Whether it’s the need for wheelchair accessibility, safety features, or ergonomic designs, early planning ensures that your home remains a comfortable and safe space. It doesn’t mean you need to have safety railings installed straight away, but more so planning that there is space to do so in the future.

2. Preserving independence

One of the primary goals of home modification planning is to maintain independence. When we leave this process too late, we risk compromising our ability to live autonomously. Early planning allows us to tailor modifications that empower us to age in place with grace and dignity.

3. Reducing stress and cost

Home modifications can be a substantial financial investment. By tackling this process early, we can spread the cost over time, making it more manageable. Additionally, early planning reduces the stress associated with urgent, last-minute modifications, which can be costly and disruptive.

4. Creating a comfortable environment

Our homes are our sanctuaries, places where we should feel comfortable and at ease. By addressing home modifications early, we ensure that our living spaces align with our evolving needs and preferences. This results in a home that truly feels like a haven.

5. Boosting safety and well-being

Home modifications often focus on enhancing safety features. By addressing these concerns early, we reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, promoting long-term well-being. A safe home is a key element in a happy and healthy life.

6. Customising solutions

Each individual’s needs are unique. Early home modification planning allows for the customisation of solutions to precisely fit those needs. This personalisation ensures that the modifications are both effective and harmonious with the existing home design.

Home modification planning is a journey that should not be postponed. It’s a process that enables us to adapt to life’s changes while preserving our independence and comfort. By addressing home modifications early, we unlock the full potential of our living spaces, fostering safety, well-being, and a sense of contentment. It also increases our ability to stay home for longer. Don’t leave it too late – take the first step in planning your home modifications today!

This opinion piece was also published by the Healthcare Channel.

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Busi Faulkner is a Queensland-based registered nurse who is a proud Zimbabwean-Australian and is the founder and managing director of Home Care Nurses Australia.

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