One in three children born in the UK today can expect to live to 100 – presenting potential challenges and opportunities to innovate. Co-producing housing, planning and design solutions with older people can support us to live independently in our own homes for longer – and generate new markets.

In partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better and the Social Care Institute for Excellence, we have launched a new paper The 100-year life: the role of housing, planning and design which sets out recommendations for central and local government, builders, planners, designers and lenders. It calls for an integrated approach to health, housing and care system to help people live independently as they age, placing local people at the heart of the system.

The paper is based on design workshop held earlier this year and looks at four key areas:

  1. Integrating housing alongside health and care
  2. Making finance more flexible
  3. Creating age-friendly communities
  4. Engaging with older people in designing new products from kitchens to transport.

Recommendations:

Local leaders should align health, housing and care systems around a shared objective of helping people to live independently in a way that is suited to their age.

Government should provide greater flexibility of finance by increasing age limits on lending, extend personal health care budgets to factor-in housing adaptions, and encourage the Disabled Facilities Grant to stimulate the market.

Age-friendly communities should be the norm; ninety per cent of new homes should be built to accessibility standards, local and neighbourhood plans should include age-friendly environments, and housing developers should prove that they are being age-friendly.

People who use services and their carers should be central to the design, delivery and evaluation of services. ‘Co-production’ can build and understanding and skills of policy-makers, commissioner, planners, designers and housing professionals in the practice of co-production.

The report will be launched by Paul Burstow, Chair of our Transform Ageing National Advisory Panel, at Age UK London’s Loneliness and older Londoners conference on Friday 15 June.

Our longer lives are a reason to innovate, not just to celebrate. We need to shift our thinking around housing, health and care to ensure that people can live healthy and happy lives for longer and reduce the health inequality that exists across the UK. The forthcoming Green Paper is an opportunity to bring all these resources to bear to improve the quality of later life.

Paul Burstow, Chair of Transform Ageing National Advisory Panel

Download the full report to find out more. 

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