Making Homes Fit for Ageing and Caring: The consequences of COVID-19 for the housing, health and wellbeing of older people in England

Making Homes Fit for Ageing and Caring cover

This report, published by Care & Repair, reviews the consequences of COVID-19 and associated ‘lockdowns’ for older people in England with particular reference to their housing, health and well-being, and considers the post-pandemic housing policy implications.

In terms of sources consulted, these range from the journalistic to systematic research, most of which relates to short-term consequences arising from the first wave of COVID-19 in 2020.

A key question underpinning this paper and yet to be resolved, is the impact of COVID-19 for older people in the medium term (2-5 years) and long term (5+ years).

Three of the most immediate, important and interrelated consequences which this paper considers are:

  • The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on certain population groups, in particular older people, those with long term health conditions, and some black and minority ethnic populations (with overlaps between these groups.
  • The disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 in certain regions and localities, especially in the North of England and Midlands.
  • The extent to which the central importance of the home as a place of safety and sanctuary has been reinforced, and conversely the extent to which substandard, insecure, overcrowded and unhealthy homes increased the impacts of COVID-19 on their occupants.

The report concludes that the pandemic has impacted on everyone’s lives, but the effects on older people, who have suffered the vast majority of resulting COVID-19 deaths, have for many been catastrophic. These effects will ripple through the ageing population for years to come, and in ways not yet clear or quantifiable.