COMMONS

Housing for older people web forum

The Communities and Local Government Committee is holding an inquiry on housing for older people. The Committee set up this web forum to hear directly from older people about their experiences of moving home in later life. This helps us understand the challenges people face and help us to focus our inquiry on the key issues.

Submit your views

This forum is now closed. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share their experiences with us. Your comments will be used to inform the Committee’s thinking on this issue. 

If you, or a family member, have recently moved home, are considering doing so, or have decided not to, we wanted to hear from you.

Specifically, we were interested in your answers to any of following questions that apply to you:

  • Have you moved home recently or are you considering doing so? If so, why?
  • Have you considered moving and then decided against it? What were the reasons for this?
  • Do you know where to obtain information and advice about moving? Have you ever sought this type of advice?
  • What are your experiences of obtaining finance to move?
  • Have you experience of adapting your home to make it more accessible? How did you go about this and did you seek advice in doing so?
  • How do you feel your home affects your health and wellbeing? Have you experienced an improvement in your health and wellbeing as a result of moving?

How we use and publish this information

Your personal data will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act. The data you supply in this forum will be processed for the purpose of informing the committee’s inquiry and contributing to a report.

The information will be archived as part of official record. If you have any questions or concerns about the collection and use of your information please contact the Committee Clerk at clgcom@parliament.uk.

If you would like more information about your Data Protection rights, please contact the House of Commons Information Rights and Information Security (IRIS) Service on 020 7219 2559 or the Information Commissioner’s Office at www.ico.org.uk, tel. 0303 123 1113.

Comment moderation

This forum is pre-moderated and comments that breach the online discussion rules will not be posted. Any allegations made against specific individuals or companies may be edited to remove identifying information before being posted.

235 Responses to Housing for older people

jane FLEMING says:
November 26, 2017 at 07:59 PM
Have you moved home recently Moved to a smaller house better stairs
Did not seek advice. Finance came from sale of large house

Have you experience of adapting your home to make it more accessible? How did you go about this and did you seek advice in doing so? Yes Help the Aged now AGE in association with local council advised me to put hand rails and grabs up. Paid for them to be installed
How do you feel your home affects your health and wellbeing? Have you experienced an improvement in your health
I feel better and safer as the house suits my needs although it might look strange, grab rails everywhere. I fell badly down stairs twice and damaged my face and jaw.
this house is a small terrace house with a downstairs toilet/basin
Carolyn Hupton says:
November 26, 2017 at 04:55 PM
This is a very difficult issue for our family. We have been trying to find suitable properties for elderly parents near us but their is a shortage. We have been fortunate that a building site has come up and that we can afford to build which deals with one parent. This is therefore being done entirely without any help. It is still very unclear what , if anything, we can do with the others, my father has dementia and has some support but it unclear how easy it would be to get similar support near us, there seems to be no advice on this . Any move would be hard to finance due to differences in property values and any property would have to be suitable for someone with physical and mental issues.
Stephanie Ellis says:
November 26, 2017 at 02:56 PM
My mother has just been allocated a bungalow, which is what she has always wanted but at the present time, she is too unwell to live in it on her own. Both myself and my sister live in other parts of the country and cannot afford to give up our jobs to care for her. Because of her reduced mobility, mental health conditions and visual impairment, she will probably have to stay in a care home as we have been told that she will not be eligible for a suitable care package that will allow her to live semi-independently.
Raymond Gardner says:
November 26, 2017 at 02:03 PM
We are a couple around 80yrs living in a 3 b/room bungalow with a garden,now becoming to BIG..It would be a good idea to build smaller ground floor housing,which could also be used by single or young couples as well as oldies.There must be many single residents in council and private 3 b/room properties who would gladly move if the above was available(BEDROOM TAX).But don"t build the smaller properties miles from SHOPS and TRANSPORT also friends and family.This letter is very much to the POINT
Leonard Bridle says:
November 26, 2017 at 11:01 AM
My opinion the government don't build enough affordable bungalows for the elderly ,some live in houses they had since that got married and when the family fledge and they are left on there own and then one of the partners die and it could be a large house you have to live and keep On your own ,and it can be very lonely and have to clime stairs to go to bed etc .so please government more bungerlows for the elderly .Thank you L.Bridle
Robert Hussey says:
November 26, 2017 at 10:29 AM
We are a family of four, all with significant health issues: I am 70 and have Crohn’s Disease, severe osteoporosis, all over osteoarthritis with poor mobility and Chronic Kidney Disease. My wife is 61 with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and has been on antidepressants now for 19 years. Two daughters live with us, one is 23 and suffers from M.E. The other daughter is 19 years old and autistic, also has Hypermobility and poor mobility, and IBS – academically brilliant, but very high maintenance, with very limited social skills and severe anxiety. Last year, at university in North Wales (1st year), following her passion for history, we had to travel from Lincolnshire to Bangor no less than 13 times to deal with melt-downs and meetings on her behalf. It’s very expensive costing hundreds of pounds each time, we get no financial support for our girls. Because our girls are over 18, they are no longer considered in the allocation of Housing Benefit. We cannot afford our rent in our privately rented bungalow, a charity makes up the difference for now. We are struggling pensioners.
We have letters from doctors and an up-to-date Occupational Therapy report that states we require a home with two toilets, wide access doors, and that I will be good with a stair lift, as I would only need to use it once a day.
Our [local authority] has an ageist policy that only allows anyone over 60 to apply for a bungalow or ground floor flat. In the [local authority's] housing stock there are fewer than five 3-bedroom bungalows, they don’t come available. There is no flexibility in this rule, which appears to assume that when disabled children reach 18 they suddenly become unafflicted and able to live without support – from anyone!
We have pressed [the local authority], who are not very good at replying to letters, and have the support of our MP, Occupational Therapists, A major Charity and two Housing Associations who are keen to help us – but the local authority refuses to allow the Housing Associations to do so. Their Lincshomefinder website to bid for houses is an absolute joke, that is, if you can even get it to load! We see adapted houses come up with all the facilities we need, except for the stair lift, but even though the charity has offered to supply and install a stair lift for me, the [local authority] (try not to laugh at this) now say that we CAN have a house, rather than a bungalow, PROVIDED it already has a stair lift installed! To my certain knowledge, builders do not automatically install stair lifts into new houses in case somebody, at some time, needs one. You don’t need high professorial brains to know how ridiculous this is, you could ask a 9-year-old.
So, at last we have a Prime Minister that sees the need the rest of us have seen for decades – a crisis entirely down to lack of planning – Housing Associations building around us, right now, the houses that would fit our needs exactly, if a stair lift is installed (at no expense to the council)….council says no!!
It so happens that my son is a senior council officer in a Home Counties County Council, he assures me that the age discrimination we are experiencing contravenes the Equalites Act and is illegal, he says “we’d never get away with that here, it just doesn’t happen”.
It’s not lost on me that my parents and grandparents, in post-WW2 , with all it’s deprivations, were treated more fairly and didn’t have to struggle like we do now. Before I was struck down with illness almost 20 years ago, I was a high earner for decades, paying huge amounts properly each year in taxes and National insurance. We are told the whole point of N.I. is to insure for eventualities such as I now face – not if you are a [name of local authority] constituent it doesn’t!
Alan and Sheila Turner says:
November 26, 2017 at 08:45 AM
We lived very happily in a moorland village (no shops and public transport in summer only) until my husband was diagnosed at 73 with Parkinson's. We realised our life with chickens, soft fruits, home grown veg, greenhouse etc could not be sustained and, unwilling to watch our beautiful garden go to pot, we down-sized to a smaller property with matching garden in this market town.it was the right thing to do and with a few grab rails we manage very well.
Robert Gerrard says:
November 25, 2017 at 05:08 PM
I was born on the 11.02.1938. My wife was born on the 30.05.1941. We have been married for 57 years. Three years ago. My wife and I lived in a detached 3 bedroom house with an integral garage. I was under the Walton Centre for a mini stroke that had caused my right foot to drop and me to keep falling over and cutting my hands and knee's. After attending there for many months and lots of tests, My consultant told my wife and I that I was now into the 3rd stage of MND. Which is the final stage. He also advised us that we had to get our lives organised. And also we had to get out of our house and get into a bungalow because I was now loosing my legs as both my thigh muscles were now shutting down.
We are now living in a small semi 2 bedroomed bungalow waiting for the worst to happen.
We have had all the timber removed from the outside and replaced with plastic. The driveway has been very much widened and fully flagged. The lawn has gone and replaced with some nice loose stones.
The back has had the same treatment with flagging and small stones. There is now no grass to be kept cut with plenty of drainage. The small back bedroom has been converted to double opening plastic doors to take ramp and the patio has been lengthened with more flagging.
Aintree Hospital have a motorised wheelchair ready for me. but they wont deliver it until a ramp has been installed.
My OT is the one who are sorting out an aluminium ramp. She has been putting prices into the council since last May and they keep refusing it saying its too expensive. yet there have been prices up to £1700. Now she has put the last price in for just a £1000. its been another month now so it looks like the council have refused that as well. I just cant believe what they are doing to me. The fun will start if my wife was at the shops and a disaster happens here, with me not being able to get out in time.
Mrs Miriam Shepherd says:
November 25, 2017 at 05:06 PM
I have not moved home and do not intend to do so I could not afford to and I love where I am as it is extremely good for my health. I have only had to make adjustments in the Bathroom but If I have to have a stair lift I would need help financially. I am 80 years old and cope well on my own
Helen Douglas says:
November 25, 2017 at 02:03 PM
My husband and I are in our late 50s but already have impairments which are making life more difficult. We have sought information from Age UK and Anchor to see what over 55 housing is available. We are thinking about renting as the yearly fees for private over 55 places are unaffordable. We are not sure about eligibility for rents. We do not need a high level of support yet but my husband already has 2 knee replacements and I have severe osteoporosis in my spine. Our Edwardian flat has very high ceilings and we are getting less and less able to cope so we are looking ahead and thinking about over 55 developments. I think there should be more information about housing for people on low incomes who are impaired rather than seriously disabled. Would we be eligible for benefits if the rents were too high? Why are the private developments where we live so expensive for charges-2-3000 per year?