Centre for Ageing Better
6 Apr 2021
We want all new homes to be designed to meet people’s needs throughout their life, so they don’t have to move when they get older unless they want to.
People shouldn’t have to change homes just because they’re getting older, but too many homes get much harder to live in as people age.
Very few homes have features that help people manage daily activities and live independently. These include wider doorways and extra space for using wheelchairs and mobility aids. The toilet should be easy to get to. Floors and doorways need to be level.
Some people may prefer specially designed housing as they age. But everyone should have the choice to stay where they are if possible. There is a serious and growing shortage of homes suitable for people when they get older or that can be adapted to meet their needs. Building more of the right sort of homes will benefit many people in future, whether or not they are disabled or are living with health conditions.
New homes must be flexible enough to meet people’s needs throughout their life. Only a third of homes due to be built before 2030 will be designed this way.
We have joined charities and housing organisations to form the Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition. We’re calling for changes including making ‘accessible and adaptable’ the minimum standard for all new homes.
We are also encouraging companies to better meet the diverse needs of the growing over 50s consumer market by making it easier for people to buy products that can help with everyday life, like inclusively designed toilet seats, kettles, ovens and taps.