Our homes are fundamental to our health and wellbeing. With a growing proportion of time spent at home in older age, issues around housing become all the more important.
What would an age friendly housing strategy look like? The BAB Age Friendly Charter explains that this would be an environment where ‘older people in Bristol have accommodation that meets their needs’.
This can mean a variety of things. Introducing measures to ensure older people can continue living as independently as possible, for example.
An age friendly city is one where older people are aware of all the services available to them that will help them modify their homes. Local communities should also be well informed about the adaptions that are available for older people as this will help families know what to look out for.
Organisations such as We Care & Repair are already doing work around this area. The specialist bathroom adaptions they provide enable older people to remain living independently.
Ensuring there is greater access to appropriate and enjoyable social housing facilities in Bristol is also important. And should also be genuinely affordable. Housing should be safe, secure and warm with opportunities to socialise and take part in community and group activities.
We Can Make is a new housing initiative that has been working on an affordable home design (TAM) that has the potential to allow older residents to live close to their relatives but have their own independent living space. Co-housing which consists of individual houses or flats grouped around central and shared facilities is a growing feature of the UK housing market with a few projects happening in Bristol.
These intentional communities could offer older people the chance to live independently but also in a shared community, offering another potential solution to developing an age friendly way of living.
Are you currently doing any age friendly work around housing, or would like to discuss some ideas you have? Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and find out how you can get involved.