Age-appropriate Living Meanings

Age-appropriate living, also known as barrier-free living, has become more and more important in recent years. In old age, people do not want to move from their familiar surroundings again just because the bathtub rim is too high. From this fact, a branch of its own has developed within the construction industry. The consulting and executing companies show how the current home can be used without restrictions even in old age. Given that these renovation measures cost money, it is all the more important to find out whether and, if so, what state funding is available.

  • Owners can obtain loans from the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau to convert the property into age-appropriate living.
  • This also applies to rental apartments.
  • As an alternative to a low-interest loan, grants are also possible.
  • The funding also includes measures that serve to protect against burglary.

Property owners at an advantage

Real estate owners have a clear advantage over tenants. You can, within the framework of the legal structural requirements, change your home the way you like it. Tenants, on the other hand, have to find an agreement with the landlord.

What options are there for age-appropriate living?

The way in which conversions are carried out naturally depends on the individual needs and the property itself. A shower without a shower tray with an inward-facing floor is an option. Widening the doors so that a wheelchair can easily pass through is also an improvement. Ramps at the house entrance or stair lifts also enable the apartment to be optimized to suit the respective situation. But all of this ends up costing money.

Reconstruction Loan Corporation offers state funding

The Reconstruction Loan Corporation, or KfW for short , has taken on the subject of “age-appropriate living” and has launched a special funding program for it. The funded renovation measures include

  • Paths to the building: house entrance, garages and parking spaces, disposal facilities
  • Entrance area: no steps or thresholds, sufficient freedom of movement, weather protection
  • Overcoming stairs and steps: seamless handrails, non-slip flooring
  • Adaptation of the room geometry: conversion of kitchen, living area, sleeping area, hallway
  • Conversion bathroom: movable washbasin, bathtub with low entry, toilet at optimal seat height, floor-level shower
  • Common rooms in apartment buildings
  • Living environment: seating on the property

The promotion of age-appropriate living also includes the improvement of burglary protection and is covered by the same program.

The programs in detail

The 159 program, age-appropriate living, is based on a loan of up to 50,000 euros. It can be used for all of the above, regardless of the age of the applicant. KfW has now created an “age-appropriate house” standard that outlines what defines such a property.

The entrances and the rooms must be barrier-free. For this purpose, the house must have control elements that facilitate the use of objects in the house.

As an alternative to program 159, program 455 B is available. With this program, the applicant receives a grant of up to 6,250 euros. However, KfW differentiates between two levels.

The applicant receives 10 percent of the costs, up to a maximum of 5,000 euros, for remodeling measures that offer relief. If the “Age-Appropriate House” standard is to be achieved with the construction project, the subsidy increases to 12.5 percent, a maximum of 6,250 euros.

Both programs, 159 and 455 B, can be expanded to include the improvement of the burglar protection, program 455 E. As part of this funding measure, the applicant receives a grant of up to 1,600 euros for construction measures that serve to protect against burglary. These include

  • Burglar-resistant house, apartment and side entrance doors
  • Burglar-resistant garage doors and entrances
  • Retrofit systems for house, apartment and side entrance doors, for example additional door locks, cross bolt locks with / without locking bars, box bolt locks
  • Retrofit systems for windows and balcony doors as well as burglar-resistant grilles, folding shutters and roller shutters and light shaft covers
  • Intrusion and hold-up alarm systems
  • Hazard warning systems and security technology in smart home applications with intrusion alarm functions

However, it also applies that alarm systems with infrasound are not eligible for funding.

It is not surprising that many applicants who use the funding for age-appropriate living also make use of the grants for burglar-resistant conversions. The need for security grows with age.