Where we live as we get older is important; many people will often speak about retiring to be close to the seaside, the countryside, or a particular town or city. However, one of the main things to consider is what we need as we get older. Our environment and where we live has an important role in determining how we age as it has an impact on our physical and mental health. It’s difficult to know how ageing will unfold for any of us, which is why it’s important to start thinking about things early.
As we age, we may need different things from our homes than when we were younger; for example:
- do we need to downsize;
- can we live safely at home on our own;
- can we still do all the same tasks around the house like gardening, cleaning or cooking, remembering to take medication;
- are we as mobile as we’d like;
- are we isolated?
These are all things to consider when we start looking at what is required for older people to live in a safe and secure home that is right for them. Finding out how someone feels in their home is crucial as it can have an affect on their overall health, and ensuring older people are safe in their home is essential.
What housing options are available for older people?
There has been much talk about there being a housing crisis, in particular for first-time buyers, but with a rapidly ageing population, that is only set to grow - location, affordability and suitability of housing are all still issues for older people.
A report from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) talks about the current challenges in England in meeting the need of housing that is suitable for older people. The report includes data from Centre of Towns who carried out detailed surveys with ComRes to find out what the most important factors are in terms of housing suitable for over 55’s, as well as what they want and need in their next home.
The World Health Organization talks about the term ‘healthy ageing’ and making communities and neighbourhoods age-friendly by removing the barriers to increase diversity and allow older people to feel, and remain, part of their community, protect vulnerable people, prevent isolation and give them more choice and decisions about where they’d like to live.
Depending on healthcare needs, how independent someone is and what support they need, there are a number of different housing options available for older people ranging from sheltered housing, independent living housing schemes, residential care homes and dementia care homes.
Sheltered housing aims to improve the lives of older people; empowering and allowing people to remain independent for as long as possible. There are different types of sheltered housing accommodation types that are available including flats, bungalows, apartments or bedsits, which have been designed for older people who can live independently, but may need some help or support with some tasks.
Sheltered housing at Abbeyfield
At Abbeyfield we recognise the difference that having a safe and secure place to call home can make to older people’s lives by providing them with stability, security and happiness, surrounded by people who care for them.
Our sheltered housing option provides residents with privacy and independence, with the added benefit that support is on hand from our caring and dedicated staff, as well as companionship, being able to socialise, share meals and know there is always someone there.
Our houses are located in convenient locations, usually at the heart of the community, with access to social activities, shops and cafes. In addition to this, most of them have excellent transport links so you can travel around, stay part of the community and make new friends.
The friendship, care, kindness, community and family feel that starts at home are the ideals that you’ll find in our houses today.