A national strategy to advise and inform the elderly on their housing options is necessary, The Communities and Local Government Committee (CLG), recommends
The CLG committee has devised a report outlining the essential issues that need to be addressed in order to improve matters for the elderly.
The report came after the group’s decision to look further into the issue, after recognising the impact a well-suited home has on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.
Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said:
“The right kind of housing can help people stay healthy and support them to live independently. This can help reduce the need for home or residential care, bringing real benefits to the individual and also relieving pressure on the health service.”
Easily accessible information
The report suggests that the existing FirstStop Advice Service should be replaced with an improved telephone advice facility.
The new service needs to provide a wide range of help, by signposting to suitable services from repairs to heating, even covering moving and care options.
More homes for the elderly
In apprehension of the forthcoming social care green paper, the committee hopes to encourage the government to develop more housing for older people and suggests that councils need to identify a target proportion of new housing to create homes for the elderly.
To compliment this idea, the group’s report urges councils to publish a strategy which outlines how they intend to meet the housing needs of the elderly in their areas.
Other recommendations include:
- Additional funding for Home Improvement Agencies operating services including a handyperson service for older people.
- A range of measures to help older people overcome the barriers to moving home including an accreditation for companies which provide tailored services for older people moving home and better customer service and guidance from lenders when applying for a mortgage.
- Ensuring that national and local planning policy encourages the building of more of all types of housing for older people – extra care, retirement, sheltered and accessible housing across the social and private sectors, with older people involved in the design process.
- Building all new homes to accessible and adaptable standards so that they are ‘age proofed’ and can meet the current and future needs of older people.
For the complete report click here