The Centre for Ageing Better believes it’s time to take action for better homes. Our guest explains why it wants to see changes.
This is a guest post by Louise Ansari. All views expressed are Louise’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
Fewer than one in ten homes in England are suitable for older or disabled people to visit, never mind live in, but we have the chance to change this.
Homes are central to our health and wellbeing, and our population is undergoing a massive age shift. Increasing numbers of us are living into our 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. In less than 20 years, one in four of us will be over 65 – equating to around 17 million people.
While poorer health as we age isn’t inevitable, one in five adults aged 65-69 need help with one or more activities of daily living (such as bathing, cooking or using the toilet).
By the time people reach their 80s, this figure rises to more than one in two of us. But as it stands, only one new accessible home is planned for every fifteen people over 65 by 2030.
By 2030, it’s estimated that there will be just one new accessible home built for every 15 people over the age of 65.
— Ageing Better (@Ageing_Better) November 6, 2020
Not only will this affect millions of us now and in the future as we get older, but there are many disabled people living in homes that do not meet their needs – it’s estimated that around 400,000 wheelchair users currently live in a home that is neither accessible nor adapted.
What needs to change?
Our solution is simple: change building regulations to require all new homes to be built to the ‘accessible and adaptable’ standard or M4 (2) as a minimum.
This will create a world of difference for the millions of us who find, or will find, it hard to move around our homes – ensuring a step free entrance, more space to move in all areas of the home, and features that make the home easily adaptable to our changing needs.
All without making our homes look any different or costing much more.
How Ageing Better is taking action
The Centre for Ageing Better is calling for urgent action to make this happen, as part of the Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition of ten charities and housing organisations.
The government is seeking views now on options to raise standards.
If you’d like to support us, please add your voice and tell the government that change is needed to build the right homes for the future – you can respond via an online survey using this simple guide to aid your response (Word doc download).
This was a guest post by Louise Ansari. All views expressed were Louise’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.