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Housing associations could have role in preventive care

18th December 2013

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

The Guardian has reported that a discussion organised by Hanover Housing Association concluded with the agreement that housing solutions can play an important role in the lives of older people; the right housing can prevent accidents and falls from happening which can lead to older people becoming hospitalised.

Moving into housing adapted with aids such as a new home stair lift and grab rails can ensure that older people have the support they need before the necessity for using them arises. Lord Richard Best of the Hanover Housing Association tells The Guardian that there needs to be more incentives for older people to downsize and move into housing like this that will suit their needs for years to come.

Lord Best writes that older people are continuing to live very active lives, saying that, “for more and more older people, later life means many more good years”. He suggests that this period of life, which he calls “extended middle age” should be seen as an opportunity to prepare for later life, focusing on the role of prevention to help people live in good health for longer.

Housing is hugely significant to this preparation, according to Lord Best; moving to a smaller home that can easily be fitted with walk in showers for seniors or other aids when needed has a number of benefits. Doing so before a crisis arises can release equity, make housework less physically demanding, reduce heating bills and help homeowners remain independent as their accommodation becomes easier to manage.

Whilst moving house earlier is a good idea, Lord Best writes that not enough is being done to make this an attractive option. He said: “to achieve this we need much more appealing and varied housing options” and called for more suitable housing to be created, especially for older people, that is also affordable.

Read Lord Best’s article in full here.

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