ALONE respond to Government’s Housing for Older People policy statement
Charity for older people has welcomed the report
Dublin, 27th February 2019ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has told Minister for Older People, Jim Daly TD, that they have welcomed the policy statement ‘Housing Options for Our Ageing Population’ published today, as he paid a visit to the ALONE office this morning.
Minister Daly visited ALONE’s head office to view the charity’s assistive technology to support older people to age at home for longer.
A collaborative project between the Departments of Housing and Health, the policy statement examines housing options for older people in Ireland.
Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, said, “We welcome the Government’s statement on housing options for older people and the recognition from Minister Daly and Minister English that housing for older people needs an element of support.”
“There is an assumption that the housing needs of older people have already been met. Yet, the TILDA report shows that 58% of older people have problems with housing conditions. With a rapidly ageing population, we hope that this joint statement will bring about policy and housing models which prevent a housing crisis for older people in the years to come.”
He continued, “We are encouraged by the report’s recommendation to purpose build 30% of new houses to accommodate the country’s ageing population and to ensure that half of all new apartment developments align with the needs of older people and those with mobility issues. As we develop these supported housing options, it is also important to be conscious of community and social inclusion for older people,” he continued.
With first hand experience in providing housing for older people, ALONE has campaigned for a wide range of housing options to cater to the life-cycle and better match the level of care needed for people who want to remain living independently.
According to ALONE’s own housing report, ‘Housing Choices for Older People: Time for Action’ released last year, building one- and two-bedroom homes for older people can increase their housing options and help to mitigate the housing crisis among larger families, saving money in building costs for larger homes.
Moynihan commented, “Regardless of age, everyone wants to have their own front door. Providing a spectrum of housing options with supports works to maintain independence and choice for every older person. From a care perspective, this also lessens the reliance on hospital and nursing home care which can incur large costs.”
Moynihan concluded, “It is vitally important that we provide choice in housing to older people to enable them to age in surroundings comfortable to them. Our research has shown that funding housing with support options, through adaptation grants and purpose-built housing, will save government money and protect the independence of the older person.”
The charity welcomed the Government’s research into ‘right-sizing’ which indicated that with incentives, 15% of older people would consider moving to a different home in their community.
Established in 1977, ALONE supports older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing. ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week.ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.