The homes currently being planned and built will contribute to the housing stock in 20 years time. Yet the demands of an ageing society often come low on the list of current strategic priorities. Recent UK government-backed programmes for new affordable housing do not specifically promote houses for older people. But looking ahead to 2026, the rising number of older people, combined with increased longevity, will create a much greater need for properties suitable for the impaired and averagely frail very old. This calls for a commitment to new ‘lifetime’ homes, constructed with the lifestyles of older people in mind.
Adequate housing is just as crucial to people’s independence as social care, and older people want the choice of staying in their own homes as they become more dependent.