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Case Studies

The Beckwiths

Janice Beckwith lives with her daughter in a two bedroom Lifetime Home. A retired teacher, she is great company, with a dry sense of humour - though she tires easily and increasingly uses  her scooter and wheelchair.

Why a Lifetime Home?

As well as being accessible and capable of adaptation, her property is a ‘Passive’ house - an ‘ultra low-energy’ property, with tripe-glazed windows, and no need for a gas or electric power source. As Janice points out, “People who are less mobile benefit from homes that are warmer than those intended for people who move around more.”

Completed less than two years ago, Janice is the first tenant in the property, part of a development built by Gentoo Housing Association. Cherry Tree Gardens, nearby, also part of the development, is an assisted living facility which provides independent living support, with a hairdresser and restaurant on site. Everyone living there can make use of the fully accessible facilities - a great example of an inclusive neighbourhood.

Janice’s daughter, Cherry, who is 19, lives with her and Janice also has a carer who comes in every day. Also in residence are two rescue cats, Charlie and Roxy.

Supporting their lifestyle

There is a charging point for a scooter and wheelchair, a walk-in shower room and a separate, level access bathroom. The home suits Janice's needs now, as well as those of her daughter. As Janice expects that her health and mobility will vary over time, the adaptable design of the home should be able to provide her with anything she may need in the future. Her daughter also has the space she needs with the peace of mind that her mother is independent at home.

The kitchen has a lowered work surface that makes it accessible when Janice is using a wheelchair. Level access double doors lead out from the sitting room, where Janice spends most of the day, into a pretty garden. Because of the heat generated within the house it is usually possible to have these doors open and to feel fresh air and a sense of nature coming into the sitting room.

Janice taught A-Level computing for many years until she needed to retire. She values the large rooms and high ceilings (required for the circulation of ‘recycled’ heat). It gives a feeling of space that is very welcome when you are at home and settled in one spot for much of the time.