A new International Longevity Centre Discussion Paper collates the findings of 10 ILCs within the ILC Global Alliance on the subject of housing for older people. The paper intends to begin filling in the gaps of knowledge and spark debate on the subject of shelter for older people.
It reports that the ten ILCs studied uniformly show that “more than 80 per cent” of the older population resides in general housing (dwellings either owned or rented by older individuals) – partly influenced by a strong preference amongst older people to remain living in their own home.
Ultimately, the paper finds that up to 25% of old people are still likely to relocate to specialist housing eventually (retirement villages, residential care homes, and nursing homes). Drivers in this regard are fairly similar across the countries, and primarily include economic vulnerability, rising costs of living in general housing, an absence of family members to support an older relative, and a need for a higher level of care, or anticipation of such a need in the future.
The paper finds that there is a worrying shortage of specialist housing for low-income older people – currently specialist housing is presented, and costed, as a luxury.