Following the recent publication of the Scottish Government’s strategy and plan, Housing to 2040, Age Scotland’s latest research on the housing needs of older people in Scotland has highlighted a need to increase the availability of accessible and adaptable homes so that people can live well and independently for as long as possible.
Drawing on focus group research by ScotInfrom, funded by the Scottish Government, the report highlights the preference of older people to be able to live in a home with step-free access, that was over a single storey and had access to a garden.
It also digs into how people’s experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their lives and housing decisions. The results suggest that the coronavirus pandemic will have a significant impact on how older people plan for their future.
The research found older people do not want to move away from where they have lived for many years, built connections and are part of that community. And without the choice and availability of somewhere more suitable to move to, they opt to stay put until they have no other option but to leave.
As a result, it recommends that more homes which are accessible and adaptable are built, including targets for local authorities in Scotland. Furthermore, the Scottish Government should work with housebuilders to deliver a greater mix of affordable, adaptable and energy efficient homes in new developments and foster intergenerational communities.