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Grand Designs host calls for more integrated schemes for older people

21st April 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

The presenter of Channel 4’s property programme Grand Designs has expressed the importance of ‘building lifetime homes’ that can be adapted for wheelchair use and have stairs that would fit a straight stairlift.

Kevin McCloud believes that building communities for all ages would revitalise neighbourhoods and would help to rejuvenate the lives of older people. This would be his preference, instead of the rising number of retirement villages, which seem to segregate the old from the younger generations.

Keeping all members of society integrated

The TV host expresses how he feels that no part of society should be ghettoised, especially in the case of older people, so that the population can grow old together. This will also help the younger generation learn from the old, and vice versa, which could be very beneficial for communities. Adding to this argument, he also discusses how safety for older people should come from having a good community and neighbours, rather than in the form of bars, gates and security cameras, which are the selling point for many retirement villages.

In an article by the Daily Express the TV host said: “We have to accept that the population grows old together and gets geriatric together. But we should preserve the traditional roles of older people as being guardians and peace keepers.” 55-year-old Kevin has his own company HAB Housing, which has already built a number of integrated property schemes, such as one in Stroud on an old hospital site. He suggests that allotments, benches, gardens and a BBQ area are all desirable features that a community should strive to have.

However, he does admit that his own mother lives in a McCarthy and Stone development that has been designed for the over 55s and is very happy there, despite being in favour of integrated housing.

Image Credit: Cristian Bortes (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.