If you own a home, you may know that keeping up with repairs and maintenance as an older person is difficult. Many people do not realise the health and safety implications of issues that need minor repairs, which can turn into big and expensive problems.
The Ageing in Place research programme identified the key issues older New Zealanders have with completing repairs and maintenance on their homes. Some of these issues included:
- Physical limitations that stopped them from completing small repairs themselves
- Difficulty in getting paid people to complete small jobs because it was not worth their time
- Poor quality workmanship
- Difficulty in trusting workers
- Trouble understanding the scope of the work, understanding quotations, and not knowing who an appropriate provider would be
- Being unable to afford the repairs
If you have repairs or maintenance on your house that needs addressing, you should look for solutions straight away to stop the problem from getting worse. You can contact your local Age Concern who can put you in touch with the best tradesperson or handy person to work on your home.
If you are struggling to cover the costs of urgent repairs or maintenance to your home, you can contact Work and Income. The Home Repairs and Maintenance payment can give you up to $1,000 toward essential home repairs. Depending on your financial situation, you may need to pay this money back when you can. You should contact Work and Income to book an appointment to organise this.
The Good Homes Project developed tools for homeowners, support service providers, and repair and maintenance providers to evaluate what work needs to be done in a home. The Householder tool is a simple checklist that evaluates each room in the house to identify what may be unsafe or need repair. It also suggests how these problems can be fixed or who to contact. The Repairs and Maintenance Provider tool offers a more detailed evaluation of a house and prioritises work that needs to be done based on urgency and cost.
This tool is aimed towards helping older people stay in their homes and to make their homes safe and healthy. You can find the Householder tool here, and the Repairs and Maintenance Provider tool here.
Websites of interest
- For more information on Ageing in Place, including reports and tools, visit the Good Homes website
- You can find other branches of the Good Homes website, including information about renting, downsizing, and building homes here