UK housing sector ‘still not ready for ageing population’

Health experts from across the UK have called for Commissioners for Ageing to be introduced in England and Scotland to help place housing at the heart of service integration for older people.

A new report led by researchers at the Universities of Dundee, Heriot-Watt and Stirling has found that the UK housing sector is still not ready for ageing, but said there was evidence of real support and political buy-in for ongoing and future solutions.

The report, Housing and Ageing: Linking Strategy to future delivery for Scotland, Wales and England 2030, recommended that housing should play a central role in the provision of services for older people.

It also called for new adaptable and affordable housing to be built; investment in early intervention; and meaningful consultation with older people.

One of the key authors of the report, Judith Sixsmith, professor of health-related research at the University of Dundee, said: “Getting the appropriate housing solutions in place is a key challenge for our ageing population.

“Ageing in place is not enough to ensure the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes for older people. Ageing in the right place is so important if older people are to live well in their homes and communities.”

The report, which was funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute and Social Policy Association, will be submitted for consideration by the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments, in a bid to ensure a joined-up approach to the issue across the country.

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