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Do you want to die in a bungalow?

(60 Posts)
FlicketyB Thu 31-Oct-13 08:03:52

I have just listened to a news report and heard a government minister encouraging builders to build more bungalows to free up bigger homes for families and 'because most pensioners want to die in a bungalow'

Well, I, for one, do NOT want to live - or die - in a bungalow or in a tiny sheltered flat with nowhere to grow a few vegetables, nowhere for DH to potter around with his tools or store his ebay purchases and sales, with no study with room for our partnership desk and plenty of book space, no space for DC, their spouses and DGC and with a kitchen that assumes we live off Wiltshire Farm Foods, good though they may be for some.

Yes, some people as they age are severely physically disabled which restricts their lives and housing needs but the vast majority of pensioners for most of their retirement years are very happy in the houses they currently live in with space for them and their retirement occupations.

I am sick and tired of being told by government ministers and other callow youth that because I am retired, all I require from life is a shelf in a warehouse where I can perch until I topple off it and can be carted away in a coffin.

Gagagran Thu 31-Oct-13 08:07:24

Hear! Hear Flickety! Well said. But will they listen? No chance.

liminetta Thu 31-Oct-13 08:12:53

Ha, ha!, Your post made me laugh so much, [FlicketyB] ..(the end part I mean),I must agree, They will have to drag me kicking and screaming from my lovely house with its many rooms, where I can wander at will.; of which I have bought and paid for by working hard all my life.
I sometimes go to activities at local sheltered housing, and a few people have spoken about their regret of leaving their home.One lady now suffers from depression as her and her husband live there in a small flat,and although it is lovely, she finds that husband is always "under her feet" and she has no "me space"

Aka Thu 31-Oct-13 08:17:58

So what's wrong with encouraging builders to build smaller houses? We need a mix if people want to downsize (note the emphasis on want ). And bungalows can have gardens. And sheds.

I think it's a quantum leap from the government asking builders to provide some smaller houses and saying that you require a 'shelf in a warehouse'.

Wasn't there an outcry on the 'bedroom tax' thread just because there wasn't enough smaller houses available.

What a bunch of grumpy old women some of us are shock

tiggypiro Thu 31-Oct-13 08:27:00

Have to disagree up to a point FlicketyB.
I would not want to end my days on a shelf in a warehouse but I do want a bungalow. I broke my leg 5 years ago and living in my present house was awful. I hate stair lifts and without a great deal of major work there is nowhere for a downstairs loo etc. My kitchen is too small to eat in and transferring food to the dining room whilst on 2 crutches is something I never want to go through again. My garden is on the large size and although I love gardening I have no illusions of being able to manage it in future years. We do not have anything resembling a decent bus service here.
I have set myself a target of being in a bungalow in a nearby town by the time I am 70 (5 years) as I want to move on my terms and when I hopefully have energy still for a new challenge. I am beginning to think about exactly what I want and looking forward to downsizing, being near the shops (hate shopping so anything to make it quicker!) and good transport links.

Iam64 Thu 31-Oct-13 08:35:28

I didn't read Flick, gagagran or liminetta as grumpy old women Aka - I was laughing as I read their comments. I'm completely with them, and I'd rather pop my clogs than be separated from whichever dogs I'm sharing my life with when I can no longer care for them, or myself. We were lucky enough to support mum, and her dog, in the family home until a mater of days before she died. My deep regret is we didn't just keep her there, but we'd hoped for a medical miracle. If we'd known how little time was left, we'd have wanted her to die in the home she loved, where she brought us up and lived the greater part of her adult life. Some young government representative talking about old folks wanting to die in a bungalow - another bobbin spouting off without putting his brain in gear. Life isn't all about practicalities, thankfully.

Elegran Thu 31-Oct-13 08:37:11

I have lived in a bungalow since 1967 and I don't want ever to leave it. Nothing wrong with bungalows, it is the idea that everyone wants to live (and die) in one that is mistaken. Most people want to end their days in their own home, wherever it is, but without having to be isolated in one room because they can't climb the stairs or get in and out of the front door.

More help to keep them there would be good, but building more homes with easy access would be good too. Four storey town houses are for the young and spry.

joannapiano Thu 31-Oct-13 08:57:47

We like our bungalow.Too busy living in it to think about being carried out of here in a box.And a big advantage is that we don't have to worry about stairs/stairgates for our GC.

Stansgran Thu 31-Oct-13 09:02:26

I do know someone who refuses to leave his home which has four chair lifts. He now needs extensive care and is limited to one room. I think refusing to leave your home is one thing but it can be supremely selfish if not married to an able younger woman as he is. Stubbornness is not a charming feature of some older disabled people

Aka Thu 31-Oct-13 09:05:48

Iam64 is there a law which says you can't keep a dog in a bungalow?

Many people like bungalows and yes, many older people do say they want to downsize to one. So where is the 'bobbin spouting off without putting his brain in gear' ?

Lona Thu 31-Oct-13 09:09:15

How do we know what 'the vast majority of pensioners want'?
I'm another who will be downsizing, I couldn't manage otherwise, and I would like to see more small properties.

I am fed up with being told what's good for me though!

Aka Thu 31-Oct-13 09:15:20

No one is 'telling you what's good for you' Lona. Someone is merely suggesting that builders provide more smaller properties.

FlicketyB Thu 31-Oct-13 09:17:35

No, I am not saying there is anything wrong with bungalows per se, for people of all ages they are the dwelling of choice. It is the assumption that that is all older people want - and the implication that it is greedy and selfish of us to want anything else.

Remember that what the minister has in mind for us is not the spacious family bungalows of old, with big rooms and surrounded by lawns. He wants us all in bijou little residences with 2, or if you are lucky, 3 poky little rooms, minute kitchen and shower room, no baths, we are all too crippled to get in and out of a bath, with a garden, well, backyard, so small that if you open the backdoor too fast you will knock down the rear fence. Old people, find caring for a garden too much for them, will be the reasoning. They will not have garages and limited parking - we are all too old and disabled to drive. All that is needed is parking for our carers.

Of course I realise that for some very elderly or disabled people this will be ideal, I said so in my last post, but behind these suggestions is the convenient official assumption that once you reach retirement age you shed all your possessions, all your activities and hobbies and retreat into your shell like a tortoise and wait for death

Do these pundits not have an older generation in their own families? Do their parents live in properties like those they are recommending for us plebs?

Lona Thu 31-Oct-13 09:23:59

Thank you Aka, but I wasn't referring to the OP, just to the Gov. and media in general.

Tegan Thu 31-Oct-13 09:36:40

A lot of the time thought doesn't go into purpose built homes for the elderly. There is a complex near to my daughter that I would love to move to one day; semi deteched bungalows in a pretty village. However, most of them are empty. The reason is that they the village is not on a frequent bus route. Several people have told me that they moved there only to find that they could no longer drive and were trapped in the village. Also, no private gardens, just a large communal one; no good if you have a pet dog or cat. My house is several yards from a bus stop where buses are every 1/2 to 1 hour 24/7 so there is no way that I'd move. Also, a lot of bungalows cost as much, even more as a house as they take up just as much room. This is at a time when councils are still pulling down beautiful old terrace houses. Oh and the local council flats for the elderly are on two floors, the stairs are quite steep and there are no lifts. The bungalows they build there are lovely with nice gardens. However when we tried to move my father in law there many years ago we had a devil of a job getting them to agree as he lived in a different area. They finally agreed but he died before we could move him.

newist Thu 31-Oct-13 09:40:17

I live in a bungalow, I did not downsize, just the opposite, Its 50ft X 30ft set in 1/4 acre. I can have any pet I choose.
I just find it easier to live my life to the full with no stairs, having a few joint problems smile

sunseeker Thu 31-Oct-13 09:45:12

I currently live in a house with 3 sets of stairs, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, dining room, kitchen, lounge, study and conservatory. I live alone. I do love my house but accept that a time may come when I won't be able to live here. There are some rooms which I only go into once a week to dust and hoover. I used to live in a large 3 bed bungalow and found it very easy to take care of.

I see nothing wrong in asking builders to build more bungalows or smaller properties. I don't think anyone is suggesting that we should all be forced into ghettos of elderly people where we could all sit watching daytime TV waiting to die. I think having a smaller home to take care of would leave people more time to enjoy all their hobbies.

gracesmum Thu 31-Oct-13 09:47:31

I always used to like living in a flat in the pre-DC days (BC??) as I felt one used the whole area much more than having bedrooms upstairs and living space down stairs, so a bungalow sounds like another version of the same thing. I think location is the issue as Tegan says - good transport links, a (little) bit of one's own outdoor space and hopefully a pleasant situation not too far from shops/library/GP etc. Is that too much to ask? Probably!

Mishap Thu 31-Oct-13 10:08:24

I'm a bit fed up with government telling us all where we should live.

Having said that I have always loved bungalows!

merlotgran Thu 31-Oct-13 10:23:16

We like to call our bungalow a single storey cottage as it's a converted farm worker's dwelling and has beams, brick fireplace and lots of quirky features. Whenever the word bungalow is used people think of the boxy 'between the wars' dwellings that cropped up all over the place and had a reputation for being boring and featureless.

We downsized from a five bedroom farmhouse that went with DH's job. We've never regretted the decision not to buy a house instead. We are in our mid sixties and suffer from all the joint problems that age brings. Some of our guttering needs repairing after Monday's storm so DH and a friend will be able to tackle it tomorrow. Repairs and maintenance are so much easier and cheaper when you don't live in a house.

The idea of having to leave in a geriatric ghetto probably puts people off more than the prospect of downsizing itself.

Gally Thu 31-Oct-13 10:24:45

I have half heartedly been looking at some properties in DD1's village. I have drawn up a list of my requirements which includes, not modern, not on an estate and not a bungalow. So, I went to see a modern bungalow on a small estate of some 10 properties. It is so sensible; powered by solar panels + extra to sell; has 4 good sized bedrooms, big living area and kitchen and, piece de resistance, a swimming pool in the garden. Why can't I get enthusiastic about it? I think it's the thought of being on one level and that's what old people do don't they, and I'm not old, am I - yet? winkgrin

Stansgran Thu 31-Oct-13 12:40:27

I live in a rather rambling bungalow, with plenty of garden and wild life. I would like stairs as when I stay with DD1who lives in a flat with two floors I find my hips and knees improve although it's very tiring. I also have help inthe house and garden and now rely on it. I do wonder how I would feel if I didn't have the reliable trustworthy help that I have now. I have cars and a relatively close bus stop with a good service. I do get tired of maintenance and part of me would like to move to a serviced flat in time. I have seen too many acquaintance in beautiful period houses which start to rot around them when they stop noticing the depradations of time.

gracesmum Thu 31-Oct-13 12:49:48

Let's rephrase this - I personally would rather live in a house/ flat/ bungalow or just about anywhere than die in any of them. (Although I'm not sure about wanting to live in Care Homes or Geriatric wards - so maybe popping my clogs would be preferable after all. sad

gracesmum Thu 31-Oct-13 12:51:35

Sounds better than OK to me Gally ! Drinks round the pool? envy

MamaCaz Thu 31-Oct-13 14:41:58

I have heard politicians come out with this bungalow bunkum quite a few times recently. What really annoys me are the so-called reasons that they give.

Firstly, bungalows, as many have already said, come in all sizes, but the politicians clearly have something very small in mind, otherwise there would be no freeing up of family-size homes.

Secondly, building land is at a premium, and bungalows are surely the most uneconomic use of that land.

Do people cease to have family when they get older? Don't the majority still want a home that is big enough to allow for family life - enough space to seat more than two visitors at a time; somewhere for the grandchildren or other visitors to sleep; a garden to potter in, or where the family pet (or grandchildren) can roam?

I wonder, what sort of a life would any of us grandparents have if we were to move into the sort of boxes that they apparently envisage for us!

So why are they spouting this bunkum? My guess, all part of an attempt to justify their bedroom tax policy - which in turn they try to justify on the grounds of reducing under-occupation.
If they genuinely wanted to do anything about freeing up family-sized homes, firstly they would extend the bedroom tax to pensioners on housing benefit, not just those of working age. Secondly, they would do something that would also affect many private home owners: put an end to the council-tax reductions for those who live alone homes with "spare" rooms. Tell me, what is that if a not "spare room subsidy"? But will they? Pigs might fly!