Australian Tiny Home for Older Adult
Updated: Mar 5, 2021
What an interesting video. Here are my thoughts.
Small homes may not have tiny price tags. The US $116,000 is way less than a standard home, but it is still $116K. And I don’t think it included the custom design, utilities or land costs.
Living in a warm climate really helps. The very large enclosed porch add-on made that project possible. Without the additional space, the dwelling would indeed be tiny. Perhaps access to outdoor spaces is integral to all successful tiny homes?
Problem that I saw: Not actually accessible for someone who uses a wheelchair.
The ramp is way too steep. Even without snow and ice (and with a very slip resistant surface) it looks harder than it needs to be for an older adult with a walker. It could have easily been made longer. And if she were to use a wheelchair, her independence is gone.
The interior of the actual home does not accommodate someone who uses a wheelchair. It barely accommodates her with her walker. Kitchen: forget about it. Bathroom: no way. This is one of the limitations of Tiny Homes: They can’t actually be tiny and be accessible for someone who uses a wheelchair. 350 sf is the smallest dwelling that we’ve seen that works. 350 sf is not a tiny home and fits more or less into a viable accessory dwelling category. 400 sf is much better.
And the kitchen/bath area is so small that a caregiver/assistant wouldn’t fit either.
This may address the larger question that if an older person needs to use a wheelchair, they will probably need a bunch of assistance and may not be able to live independently anyway. In the case of the video, perhaps the plan is for her to move out if such a thing happens?
What I liked:
The sliding wooden door that turns into a table. Nice flexibility, how heavy is it for her to use?
Like the vertical grab bar in the shower with the hand held shower attachment. It is sturdy enough to be useful and safe.
Descending bed. I’ve seen this before and it is pretty awesome. We don’t mind murphy beds or moveable walls either.
Smooth floor transitions avoid trip hazards.
Soft touch cabinetry is real easy to use.
Induction cook top - probably the safest types of cooktop, no?
To summarize, this hasn’t changed my opinion about tiny homes. They really can’t be used as viable long term living situations for older adults. Too small.