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More housing for older people needed in the UK

17th September 2013

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

A study has recently found that many people over the age of 60 are living in houses that are too big for their needs, but they feel unable to downsize their living accommodation because of a lack of suitable retirement housing. 'The Top of the Ladder' study by think-tank Demos highlights the need for more housing to be created that is tailored to the needs of older people.

Results of the study show that 58% of those who took part in the survey would like to move into a smaller property that is more manageable, with advantages including less cleaning to carry out and less opportunity for clutter to build up, however they feel restricted by a lack of alternatives that are suitable for their needs. It was also revealed that around 3.5 million people over the age of 60 were interested in purchasing housing that is ideal for retirement, but that only 100,000 properties currently on the market are fit for purpose.

The need for housing that suits the requirements of older people becomes increasingly apparent when considering the needs of over-85s; the nature of their housing can make a huge difference as they are more likely to need support when dealing with mobility difficulties. For example, a large house with lots of stairs presents plenty of potential for a fall, whereas a house with stairlifts for the elderly installed or a bungalow with no stairs greatly reduces this risk.

The government is being urged to construct more appropriate housing for older people, which can include anything from bungalows to purpose-built housing that already has stairlifts, ramps and easy access showers installed. With the creation of such houses, older people will be able to move into accommodation that they can manage easily, allowing them to live independently for longer.

Image Credit: Kansas City District (flickr.com)