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

Roger Van-Cauter says:
November 25, 2017 at 12:22 PM
My brother spent nearly 12 months in Hospital due to the lake of a care package being put in place, eventually he was offered the most depressing care facility in the grounds of Andover Hospital where he was sent to convalesce after a spinal operation, our family searched high and low for a suitable place for him. We eventually found a place that cost over £800 a week as a pensioner he had no savings and had to use all of his pension to part pay for his care costs, albeit for £25 he was given for personal use.
I believe that a percentage of a persons total income, apart from a property, should be considered and make it fairer for all. Maybe 30% of all their assets would be reasonable.
Miss Jannette Louise Townson says:
November 24, 2017 at 08:54 PM
As a 61 year old, I do not feel particularly old, however, I reside in a Housing Association flat. Having lived there since 2001 there has been a change in the quality of life. In particular the problems with alcohol and drug dealers and users that are part of the social deprivation in society today.
For over two years I have had my quality of life severely affected by the coming and going of drink and drug problems in the area where live. This has made me feel nervous and although I believe various bodies of authorities try to attend to these problems they have not decreased, rather that they are an ongoing problem.

After suffering for over two years from disruptive problems I sought to move but because I cannot afford it have to stay in the area where I live.

When moving from a previous flat, which had become 'not fit for habitation' due to serious damp problems and other problems which could have seriously affected my health, I know that moving to an area where I had not lived before can take some time to settle into and can be stressful.

Although I have contacted the Housing Association about the problems form the Anti-Social Behaviour that has been served to a neighbour because of drink/drug problems there has been no offer, to date to re-house the person they have neglected, whilst they follow standard procedure to act on behalf of their Association towards their own property. the neglect and lack of emotional support can be described as 'remote'.

Carol Bennett says:
November 24, 2017 at 08:01 PM
I was well and able enough to move independently with some help from my son, but decided to do so while I still had my health and strength. Many older people leave it too late, and remain attached to their unsuitable homes. I moved to be nearer family members once I was widowed and living in our retirement bungalow in Dorset near coast. I decided I needed better transport options for when I was no longer able to drive and got a Senior Railcard. I have seen older friends living in village stuck once no longer able to drive, as other transport was virtually non-existent. I was able to buy a maisonette with small private garden, which I wanted as I still had our small dog. I hope that sheltered accommodation/flats which I might move to in the future will also acommodate a dog or a cat, as I feel this is important for older people who want them for company.
Valerie Edwards says:
November 24, 2017 at 06:25 PM
I have recently moved from Oxford to Nottingham, this was done by way of bidding on the Nottinghamshire website. It was quite a traumatic experience, not helped by being 71 and on my own. I was only given 5 days to say yes or no to the property I had bid on, I had to pay rent straightaway although I did not move in until a month after, as I had to give a months notice to SOHA my landlord. I did manage to find a removal company which packed everything up for me and put everything in place in the new home. I downsized from a 3 bedroom house which I had lived in since it was built in 1968 and I had lived there for 49 years. I am now in a one bed flat in Eastbridgford. As I had been in my other house for so long I found it really difficult to get everything changed over etc., I had to list down everything which needed to be changed over to the new address. The Housing Assoc.I am with at the moment is completely different from the one I was with, SOHA Housing which is completely tenant oriented this one does not seem to care about it’s customers and are not very helpful at all. I was under the impression that where I have moved to was a scheme catering for over 60s but find myself surrounded by single males. I made the decision to move nearer to my family after my brother moved down to Cornwall, I gave up my social life and friends and even now have not really settled here.It has been hard adjusting to a one bed flat after a 3 bed house. I do think that much more could be down to help elder people who want to downsize whether they are tenants or home owners. I know of people of my age who are alone and still living in their house on their own, afraid to ask about downsizing.
Christina Livesey says:
November 24, 2017 at 05:47 PM
My husband and I had to move from a mid terraced property in Leeds to a bungalow in Lincolnshire. We could not afford a bungalow in a pleasant area of Leeds, and looked at a number of alternative locations in Yorkshire and also some that were a considerable distance away (such as Scotland). We settled on Lincolnshire because rural properties were affordable. Even so, we had to spend ALL of our savings to buy a property and took several loans in order to make it suitable. My husband has a spinal nerve injury that means he can no longer manage steps, so a single level property was essential.
Alison Backler says:
November 24, 2017 at 03:03 PM
17 years ago we moved into a larger house to bring my father to live with us from his rented accommodation. He was 88 and could no longer cope alone. We had a small extension built for a downstairs toilet, converted the dining room into a bedroom with a shower and added a conservatory as a cheaper way of adding a dining room. We funded this ourselves and did not seek any advice.
I am now living alone in my 4 bedroom house as the children have homes and families of their own and my husband and then my father died. I have considered moving to downsize several times and feel that with retirement almost upon me I should do so sooner rather than later whilst I am fit enough to face it and still earning to help with the expenditure. I worry that as time goes on I will be unable to keep up with caring for my house and garden.
I would still want a small garden and so would not buy a flat. Bungalows are scarce locally and expensive. My daughter would like me to sell up and move closer to her but property prices around her are so expensive it is not viable. I could afford it if I moved to a cheaper area but then I would be isolated from family and friends. Comparing the price I could get for my house against the cost of a bungalow I have decided I will stay where I am.
Every time a board goes up locally for a new housing development I look – and always it says “3 or 4 bedroomed family homes”. They are not building homes for people who want to downsize. I appreciate that there is a housing shortage and these family homes are needed but many of us are living in family homes that we would move out of if there was suitable accessible property to move into.
I think developers should have to include a percentage of accessible homes within each development as they do for affordable homes. The percentage of older people in the population is steadily increasing as we live longer but our housing stock does not need fit this demographic – I believe only 4% of the housing stock in this country is accessible by a disabled person. I think only by legislating will this situation be improved.


Angela Harding says:
November 24, 2017 at 02:11 PM
I do not speak for myself I am 70 and happy to move any time any place. My neighbours in the sheltered flats in my sheltered scheme are not. The thought of moving fills my 91 year old neighbour with dread..just the thought of the upheaval even with a bespoke company moving her is enough to damage her health. She would enjoy one of the new extra care schemes with her own front door and the company of others in the lounge or eating area but the upheaval is still too much to bear. My 82 year old neighbour has lived in this village all his life. He knows he can go to the lunch club on his bike and see someone to talk to...he can also go to the village coffee morning and buy a raffle ticket. He could really do with a bit of help but is pretty set in his ways He too dreads having to move...he has a bedsit and they are out of fashion so a move would mean more rent and as his pension is enough that he does not get benefit is likely to have to find at least another £100 a month for rent. These are the kind of people being regenerated by Housing Associations and even if they are the best offering a bespoke moving service it is still traumatic. If only people would plan their move to the right home before the stress is too much for them the world would be a happier place. 70% of people in residential have dementia I visit my aunt and uncle it is dismal. They need stimulation to have small children visit and to feel part of an active community not stuck in a circle of chairs around a TV which is slow death.I could write a book but sufficient to say I will visit that residential home as often as I can and take a smile, I will cook lunches for my 82 year old neighbour and I will reassure and not leave my 92 year old neighbour no matter how tempting the offer of resettlement.
Angela Harding says:
November 24, 2017 at 12:37 PM
I do not speak for myself I am 70 and happy to move any time any place. My neighbours in the sheltered flats in my sheltered scheme are not. The thought of moving fills my 91 year old neighbour with dread..just the thought of the upheaval even with a bespoke company moving her is enough to damage her health. She would enjoy one of the new extra care schemes with her own front door and the company of others in the lounge or eating area but the upheaval is still too much to bear. My 82 year old neighbour has lived in this village all his life. He knows he can go to the lunch club on his bike and see someone to talk to...he can also go to the village coffee morning and buy a raffle ticket. He could really do with a bit of help but is pretty set in his ways He too dreads having to move...he has a bedsit and they are out of fashion so a move would mean more rent and as his pension is enough that he does not get benefit is likely to have to find at least another £100 a month for rent. These are the kind of people being regenerated by Housing Associations and even if they are the best offering a bespoke moving service it is still traumatic. If only people would plan their move to the right home before the stress is too much for them the world would be a happier place. 70% of people in residential have dementia I visit my aunt and uncle it is dismal. They need stimulation to have small children visit and to feel part of an active community not stuck in a circle of chairs around a TV which is slow death.I could write a book but sufficient to say I will visit that residential home as often as I can and take a smile, I will cook lunches for my 82 year old neighbour and I will reassure and not leave my 92 year old neighbour no matter how tempting the offer of resettlement.
Kathy Sale says:
November 24, 2017 at 11:43 AM
I lost my husband 4 1/2 years ago and although our home was only a relatively smallish two up two down property, we have quite a bit of garden which both my husband and I were never really gardeners, but managed to bring up our three boys in this home. I am now finding that I cannot afford the maintenance on this property and thought a couple of years ago to move. I was looking to get a smaller house (I'm not ready for a flat just yet) but with enough accommodation that I could put up either one of my sons should they wish to come and stay, say over Christmas or Easter periods. As I still have to work because of being one of those 50's babies I needed to be close to my workplace as I don't/Can't move because of my age. I found that to be able to get something smaller, terraced perhaps and end up with some money behind me as I have no savings and my husband had no pensions to speak of when he died, that the whole effort and cost of moving was going to be futile as I would have ended up with no money behind me which was the real objective of the exercise. So maybe having to move out of the area completely (I have lived in my home for more than 42 years) and away from friends and family when I can eventually retire, would seem to be the only alternative and I really don't think this is something that I can do on my own. Had my husband still been alive, then maybe this would be something we could have looked at together.
Brenda Parkes says:
November 24, 2017 at 10:41 AM
We are both about 70 and have been thinking about down-sizing. We have both had recent experiences with elderly parents who have not had the best of experiences moving to Care Homes and want to avoid this for ourselves if at all possible. We also have friends who have obviously left it too late to mentally get "their heads around" moving - so we're taking the plunge. We have found a suitable property in our Village and when Probate has been completed on behalf of previous owner, will move, albeit feeling slightly too early but the opportunity is there so we'll take it.