Lord Best calls for older people to move house sooner
2nd December 2014
The chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Old People has announced his concerns that too many elderly people are waiting for a crisis before making the decision to move homes. He suggests that health issues such as heart attacks, stokes or even a serious fall should not be the final reasoning for relocating, and should be considered before an event like this occurs if possible.
Lord Best also prioritises finding a home that can cater for your mobility needs with the likes of a disabled stairlift and emphasised that it should be considered before it is compulsory, helping older people to remain independent for longer. Although this may seem like an obvious choice, even those with the financial means can become attached to the memories and possessions associated with a home, meaning they are less likely to relocate.
Help needed for those wanting to downsize
There are many benefits to relocating and by downsizing, the elderly can also save money on bills and maintenance costs, as well as potentially releasing some capital which can be used to support retirement pensions and help with necessary home improvements such as the installation of walk-in showers and baths. However, in order for downsizing to become easier for many older people, MPs are calling for help from the government, in the hopes that they will provide stamp duty exemption and equity loans to those in need.
A recent survey found that more than 58% of those over 60 had considered moving, which equates to approximately eight million people living in seven million homes. This also follows calculations which suggest that by helping elderly people downsize, more than 4.3million family homes would become available. However, there is still a lack of suitable properties for the elderly, which can also prove to be a barrier alongside affordability.
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