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Sharing ideas - Age Friendly Homes event

16 May 2018

Last week Bristol Ageing Better hosted the 'Age Friendly Homes: Building Solutions Together' event at the Novotel Bristol Centre Hotel. A wide variety of people took part in the event and were encouraged to share thoughts and ideas on the future of accessible housing in Bristol. 

At the start of the day we asked everyone to think about three questions:

1. What do you think is already working well for age-friendliness in housing locally?
2. What do you think the barriers are?
3. What do we need to do to get these ideas to happen in Bristol?

These questions were a great start to opening up the discussion around age-friendly housing and we are pleased to be able to share the responses we received below: 

 

Kate Stovey, St Monica Trust

Kate stovey

What do you think is already working well for age-friendliness in housing locally?

We are getting more innovative at St Monica’s, and other organisations are talking to more to older people about what they want and need.

What do you think the barriers are?

Cost, as well as the perspective from older people regarding housing for older people - there is a stigma attached to it.

What do we need to do to get these ideas to happen in Bristol?

More options like co-housing, more variety. We need find out what older people want and be led more by older people.

 

Judith Brown, Chair of Bristol Older People’s Forum and Deputy Chair of BAB

Judith Brown

What do you think is already working well for age-friendliness in housing locally?

People are networking and getting to know each other. The communication is improving.

What do you think the barriers are?

There is a lack of consistency in planning. Simple things like wide doorways can make such a big difference to lots of people. It isn’t just about having to make specialist housing for older people – everyone can benefit from more accessible housing.

What do we need to do to get these ideas to happen in Bristol?

The government needs to set a universal standard for housing that works for everyone. We need to show them that this will save them money and that it is a great long-term solution.

 

Pat Robinson, Age UK Bristol Trustee

Pat Robinson

What do you think is already working well for age-friendliness in housing locally?

There are a few intergenerational activities going on and more people are communicating.

What do you think the barriers are?

Cost and a shortage of accessible housing. Some people are resistant to change; they are used to living in a family home which might be quite a large house, and they don’t want to downsize.

What do we need to do to get these ideas to happen in Bristol?

Look at the possible and not the impossible. We need to not be afraid of trying new ideas and focus on the positive ways to solve the problem, not the negativity. 

 

Tessa Morgan, Resident

Tessa Morgan

What do you think is already working well for age-friendliness in housing locally?

BAB are one of the most positive things to come out of this as well as We Care & Repair - they go about their work brilliantly.

What do you think the barriers are?

Bristol City Council’s attitude and reduction in funding - and it’s getting worse.

What do we need to do to get these ideas to happen in Bristol?

Exactly what BAB is doing – networking, making small inroads with what we have and promoting mixed communities.

 

Steve Frakes, Retired Teacher

Steve Frakes

What do you think is already working well for age-friendliness in housing locally?

There a few good projects in Bristol looking into loneliness.

What do you think the barriers are?

Too much bureaucracy, conservative attitudes and maintaining the status quo.

What do we need to do to get these ideas to happen in Bristol?

We need the government to make the necessary changes and take action. Pressure groups and social media can also help.

 

Christopher Orlik, Volunteer at BAB

Chris Orlick

What do you think is already working well for age-friendliness in housing locally?

The new development in Stoke Gifford sounds positive, but not much else. The Anchor Society housing also sounded good.

What do you think the barriers are?

Bristol is hilly with lots of steps. The housing is very old and not adapted to be accessible, and there is no money for further adaptations.

What do we need to do to get these ideas to happen in Bristol?

The government should change the law around planning regulations, and take steps forward with accessible housing. There is also a lack of land or money. I hope that Age Friendly City will campaign for more funding.


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