Charity launches comprehensive guide to housing options for older people

Scotland’s most comprehensive housing options guide for older people has been launched by Age Scotland and housing minister Kevin Stewart.

The guide is aimed to help older people plan for their future housing needs while they have the financial and practical capability to do so. The dementia friendly booklet is designed to assist people to navigate the wide range of housing options available, direct them to extra help and support, and offer practical checklists for those looking to rent or buy.

Age Scotland research has identified that more than 60% of older people own their own home and 48% of people aged 55 and above would prefer to stay and adapt their own homes, with 26% preferring to move to a home more suitable to their needs and things that are important to them as they get older.

The main housing options available across Scotland include staying put with support or care and adaptations if needed, buying or renting a more suitable property, sheltered housing, retirement housing, living in a care home, moving in with family, co-housing and home sharing as well as residential caravans.

Kevin Stewart MSP said: “Living in the right home with the right support is essential to enable older people to live independently and safely in their own home for as long as they choose to do so. Making sure they have the necessary adaptations and access to the right support services when needed is clearly important. This guide will help older people, their families and carers by making them aware of the housing options available.”

Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s chief executive, said: “We believe that this guide is the most comprehensive of its kind and will offer older people valuable advice as to how best to navigate the plethora of options available.

“The home you have in later life has a major effect on your general wellbeing, and even if you are happy where you live now, it is good to think about what you might need from your home in the future. Planning ahead for your future housing needs is best done alongside other matters such as making a will, setting up Power of Attorney and financial planning, and is best done early.

“We have spoken to a huge number of older people from across Scotland and have been able to produce this guide to reflect what they want to know. What someone wants and needs from their home is very personal to them and their options are dependent on finances, social and family networks, the care and support required now or anticipated in the future and what is available in the area where they want to live.

“With a dramatically ageing Scottish population, we want to empower older people to live independently in their own home for as long as possible. We hope this free guide will help older people make the best choice for the future.”

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