A barrier-free home for mom: The moving story of Merle and her daughter Ferne


As we age, having family nearby to help with certain things is comforting.

However, most people prefer not to rely entirely on others and would rather maintain their independence.

An elderly lady named Merle moved back to Victoria, Australia, to be close to her family, but she also wanted to continue living in her own private home.

Her daughter Ferne, a designer of tiny houses, took on the challenge of creating a home for her aging mother.

Ferne has designed many beautiful homes, but this one was special.

It was specifically designed for her mother.

The stunning house, measuring 23.5 x 8 feet, was crafted to meet the needs of her aging mother.

Wide entrances with ramps make the house extremely accessible and barrier-free for Merle.

The kitchen countertops were built with Merle’s height in mind, and the design also considered potential changes that may occur with age.

The walls are reinforced with handrails in case Merle needs something to hold onto to maintain her balance.

Ferne thought of everything when it came to the brilliant design of the house.

This beautiful terrace could be dismantled if they decide to move or sell.

But the beautiful countryside offers such a lovely view that it’s hard to imagine they would consider leaving.

Merle will never tire of the spectacular views. It’s like the cherry on top.

Ferne also ensured that the roof and walls provide good insulation so that winters for her mother aren’t problematic.

Screens were also installed to prevent insects from entering, especially in Australia.

The main screen at the ramp entrance is motorized. Merle just needs to press a button to raise or lower it.

Ferne allowed Merle to choose the colors and designs for the interior so that her mother truly felt like it was all hers.

Her elderly mother opted for the wood look, which gives the home a more open feel.

Underfloor heating was also installed, as Ferne knew how important that is for older people.

Merle’s floor is flat and non-slip, allowing her to safely go anywhere and move wherever she wants.

A very cool feature is Merle’s bed. At the push of a button, her bed lifts to the ceiling during the day.

The motor runs on a 12-volt battery with channels built into the wall.

Ferne built the cabinets into the walls, while the drawers are placed in convenient, easily accessible locations for Merle.

Merle also finds it easy to navigate her home with a walking aid.

Her bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom are all within reach, and she can get to where she wants to go without stress. Important for her age.

Merle says the house is the best gift her daughter has ever given her.

Ferne has truly made her mother’s house her best work yet.

The design is impressive. It’s so practical yet so eye-catching that her elderly mother can still move stylishly.

Merle and Ferne agree that everything is perfect – and we couldn’t agree more.

Click the video for a full tour of Merle’s brilliantly designed elderly-friendly home!

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