Whilst the HousingCare website contains a comprehensive database for every specialist housing scheme for older people in the UK, there are many other later life housing options for those who do not wish to move into specially-built retirement accommodation.
Whether you are looking to rent or to buy, if you are looking to move into a more suitable property then this section explores some of the things to consider when looking for a new home.
Accessible homes standards
It can be difficult to plan ahead for needs that you may have in future but the following standards can help you to consider whether or not a home will be suitable for you in later life. Planning ahead can help you to stay as independent as possible, for as long as possible.
Lifetime Homes: If you are searching for a property you may wish to check that it fits the ‘Lifetime Homes’ concept: Lifetime Homes are ordinary homes designed to incorporate 16 Design Criteria that can be universally applied to new homes at minimal cost. Each design feature adds to the comfort and convenience of the home and supports the changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life.
Read more on the Lifetime Homes website.
HAPPI homes: The Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) have produced a ‘HAPPI homes’ standard based on 10 key design criteria that they feel have particular relevance to housing which is both attractive and able to be adapted over time to ensure that is suitable for later life.
Read more about HAPPI homes on the Housing LIN website.
Housing Checklist – things to consider
- Social – Will you still be able to enjoy any current activities/clubs you attend?
- Friends and family – Will you be close enough to the friends and family that are important to you?
- Transport – Are there good links to public transport services (even if you drive now, you may not be able to in the future)?
- Local amenities – What services are nearby? Is there a local shop, post office, café, pub, church?
- Pets – If you are renting are you able to take your pet with you? If necessary, will your pet be able to have access to an outside space, if necessary?
- Security – Do you feel safe in the area? Does your new home have sufficient security features? Affordability – Whether this is rental, mortgage payments, service charges, ground rent or maintenance costs.
- The future – Can the property be adapted to meet any future physical health and care needs that you may develop?
Staying put – Making your current home more suitable
For many people a move is not necessary as their current home can be adapted to meet their needs. From making physical adaptations to your home to bringing in services to help you with day-to-day tasks, there is a range of options that may be available.
To explore this further please read our quick guide on Help to stay at home.