A few roads over from me, there is one of them. One of those houses where the paint is peeling off, the grass is overgrown, tiles have blown off the roof and smashed on the drive, and the windows are too dirty to see through. You wonder if anyone lives there, but they do. An elderly widow, unable to maintain the house herself, No one wants to live in such circumstances, but sometimes this happens because they cannot do the DIY themselves and cannot afford to pay someone to do it. Living in a broken home increases health and mental health risks including stress and depression.
It might not feel like there are many options but there are. Not everyone who is fit, can do DIY, but it is next to impossible when of a certain age or physical frailty. And it is not possible for everyone to dip into savings or income to pay for it. However, it may be possible to get financial help from relatives including children (the home is their inheritance after all), seeking assistance from the local council who want to help people maintain a minimum living standard, and it is possible in some circumstances to dip into the value of the home in order to restore it. In addition to this, some damage may be covered by your home’s insurance, if so, the insurance company could pay out on projects such as a broken roof or water damage.
Coping with an Inability to DIY
Forming adequate coping strategies is essential. This can mean downsizing to retirement properties or moving back in with family, but there are more options than that. It may be possible to have neighbours willing to help in addition to council officials. Furthermore, an option is to reduce the number of rooms used, so some are closed up and this means there are less areas needing your attention. Furthermore, seek help with any health or mental health issues arising from the state of your home. There are people out there who do want to help you live as independent and happy a life as possible.
The most important thing is to make hay while the sunshines so to speak. As you get older, think about the future of your home and what needs doing. Get the roof fixed, make the garden easier to maintain, new windows, and so on. It is possible to create a house which can do well with the minimum maintenance and changes.