We have always bought a houses That needed work , stay a few years and then move to another and started again. This has suited us in the past but we are thinking maybe the next move will be our last project. We are in our early forties. Now ive been diagnosed 3 yrs and am doing ok but have back issued on top which flares up and affects mobility but ive been ok with stairs. We are thinking long term a bungalow might be better as my ms is only going to get worse but they are so expensive and I have also heard people with ms moving to bungalows and saying they felt there mobility went down as they weren’t using stairs etc. To look at me on some days you would not see anything wrong but I am well aware that this could change at any point and think im being sensible looking at this option but on the other hand wonder if its a good idea and if im over thinking and putting ourselves under financial strain to buy some thing i don’t need yet. If you could go back would you buy a bungalow or any experiences of living in one, could we adapt a house if i needed a wheel chair etc of is living on one floor much easier. I have 3 children at home so it would need to suit all of us thanks zoe
Hi Zoe, I started a very similar thread 18 May about predictability or such, not about doing up houses but reality of moving into bungalow/house and losing whatever mobility I have now…lots of good responses, mostly suggesting bungalow. Well it’s now sept, still haven’t got a clue, still need downstairs loo, and bungalows to fit a family few and far between and dead expensive. So not really any help but in similar boat. If you’re used to doing up houses I think a house with potential for adaption is possible, unfortunately our current house has no scope, so we will have to move whatever methinks.
happy Sunday to you xx
Newish houses will already have wheelchair width doors - as it has been a building regs requirement for some time. We have a straight set of stairs - quite steep - and l have had a stair-lift about 25yrs. The ones for a curve stair are so much more expensive and do have problems. lt is quite a strain for a stair lift to get around the corners - and very slow. Through the floor lifts - are getting more available now - and do not take up much room.
l use a rollator to get about downstairs - and have another waiting for me at the top of the stair-lift. My shower is walk-in - and l have grab handles all over the place. A frame around the loos - and a grab handle. So adaptions can be made. Our kitchen is huge - and it has a dining area and a sitting area and log -burner - tv. So l rarely use the other sitting rooms. ln the kitchen l can get about in a wheelchair if needed. Which did happen when l fractured my ankle. The double doors going out to the decking and garden are level so l can wheel straight out - no steps - just a small ramp down to the garden.
You are right to think about the future - accidents, l am afraid , can happen to us all. So be prepared.
26 years ago, when I was fit and well and our daughters were 16 and 11, my hubby transferred for work and we were interested in a bungalow. Neighbours had made loft conversions…we decided to go for it.
Nowadays, my bedroom is downstairs with a conservatory off it…great for days when i stay in bed and can see out, without feeling shut away!
The en suite loft conversion now houses family visits and it works well. In my case, I lost my mobility quickly after onset of problems.
We have made other alterations to suit my decline in ability and it suits us well.
But if moving to a bungalow means severe financial strain for you, then dont do it…make the adaptations you need as and when…not everyone ends up with no mobility at all.
Whatever you decide, good luck hun.
12 years ago we bought a 3 storey house. I’d already had MS for about 6 years but was totally mobile. 2 years later, we moved from the huge top floor en suite bedroom to the 1st floor slightly smaller bedroom. There were just too many times when whatever I needed was on the wrong floor. A year later I’d taken up parking things at the bottom of the stairs to be moved as & when someone went up. Still mobile, but I’d by this time had my car adapted for hand controls and knew it would help so we reluctantly decided to move to a bungalow. It was 4 plus years later that I had a massive relapse meaning I physically couldn’t go up stairs under my own steam and over that time, I don’t think my mobility was hugely affected by living on a single level.
Having said that though, they are more expensive, if we’d had several children I doubt we could have afforded a bungalow of the right size. I reckon spacejacket has it right, while you can, live in a house with stairs, but make them straight so if (and it’s a big if) you need a stairlift later you can get one installed.
Obviously, I don’t know what your budget is, but one option could be to get somewhere with space to fit a lift. I had a quick look on google & one place does ones big enough for a wheelchair for just under £13k. You wouldn’t need to install one straight away, but if there was space then it could be an option for the future. More immediate things to look for would be a downstairs toilet, minimal steps to the front door, and an en suite master bedroom.
Thank you everyone for your helpful replies, im always looking a head and trying to be practical and if we find a bungalow that would be good but also if we look at houses I will definitely be checking the stairs and potential for adaptations if required in the future. I had almost convinced myself it had to be a bungalow but my eyes have opened so I will widen my search. Many thanks zoe
With Stairlifts - Zoe. lf you are considering one - don’t bother with the big companies - Stannah/Acorn etc - find a small friendly family business if you can. They usually stock several different types of lifts - and from our experience very reliable and reasonably priced. We had to have a new lift - about 2 yrs ago. And it cost £1,200 - which included to annual services. As long as there is room for the lift seat to clear the top and bottom of the stairs - and they fold up of course. Mine works on a battery - that is recharging all the time you use it. lf we have a power cut - it means l will not be stranded.
There is no right answer with this. Obviously if you knew what the future held, you could make an informed decision but as yu don’t…
I was struggling to cope at our old house (I tripped over a threshold resulting in broken shoulder) The house was not easy to adapt; sloping access amongst other things. So we took the decision to move to a bungalow, this has been perfect for us.
So if you had a crystal ball you would know what to do.
I would say if you are happy in your present house and it is possible to adapt it then think about staying, otherwise it may be better to find another property which has more potential to meet your needs.
Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.
I understand your concerns. I was diagnosed a year ago and currently living in a bungalow. Most of the time people wouldn’t notice I had something wrong with me even though I’m well aware of not being able to move as well as I used too and do have the occasional falls. However we have just sold our bungalow and now moving to a large house. In my opinion bungalows are expensive and you don’t get a lot of space for your money. I think as long as the house you buy has the potential to be adapted for the future should the worse happen and your situation gets worse go for it and buy a house. For me a bungalow has driven me mad. Not being as active by using stairs, having a toilet and bathroom close to the living room so everyone knows what you are doing and it being smaller than a house that it easily gets cluttered so if I the worse happens and I was in a wheelchair I probably would struggle to manoeuvre it around . Go for a house with space and of course a downstairs loo!!! Enjoy your time while your body is still as ok as it can be with this horrible disease x
We moved to a bungalow 3 years ago an it has more square footage than our 4 bed detached house had, it is a 2 bed bungalow You may not like 60’s architecture but the houses and bungalows of that era are definitely bigger, we were lucky to get this as it had been on the market 4 years and needed work, but it was a great buy! and has lovely vaulted ceilings!
I think, Zoe, you are thinking a bit too much about the next home - and not enough about what you need it to have.
There is no easy answer. We wish we had moved to a bungalow a few years back, and now it may be too late.
Your mobility will not get any better, and it might just deteriorate very quickly.
Start from where you park the car, and think how you could get into the house with a stick, with two sticks, etc. Even a modern front door with its frame can pose a problem if you get a dropped foot.
If you need a mobility scooter, where can you park it, charge it, etc.
If you need a wet-room, or just a conversion to a shower, will it be easy or impossible.
Will you need fast access to a loo, and on which floor.
Will you need a kitchen with everything in reach without moving.
The real choice is not a matter of house or bungalow, it is a matter of what do you need from the next four walls.
Figure that out, and the decision will make itself.
I am full time carer for my wife she has lived with ms for 14 years and we have been in this quandary for most of that time but we have recently decided that moving to a bungalow is the right choice for us so i dont think you are overthinking anything i think the unpredictable nature of ms makes these decisions very hard for us it is the peace of mind that we will be in a property that will make it just that little bit easier for my wife to cope with whatever this horrible disease throws at her i hope you will find the right kind of property for you and your family thinking and talking about this problem is absolutly the right way of dealing with it so im sure you will come up with the right choice for yourself