You all know my passion for the safety and well-being of the elderly by now. As a long time nurse of the elderly, there were many times I saw the struggle they had to remain in their homes. Being able to remain independent is a struggle for so many. That’s why I am happy to share this post written by Charlie Coates on the concept of Lifetime Neighborhoods. Enjoy!
In order to live independent lives, elderly people often require changes to be made around the home. However, there is a growing appreciation of the fact that housing requirements on their own are not enough, and this is where the concept of Lifetime Neighborhoods comes from.
An Overview of Lifetime Neighborhoods
The idea of Lifetime Neighborhoods, as described in this government document, surrounds the need for the neighborhoods in which elderly people live to provide them with greater levels of comfort and independence through the features and facilities in the area.
As the percentage of people living into old age grows, the need to provide for them also increases. Often, they can suffer issues with independence and become limited through isolation or disability, and the neighborhood they live in plays a key role in improving their quality of life.
A Lifetime Neighborhood could incorporate a variety of features that will do just that. These could include:
- Good transport links to allow residents to travel to nearby areas with greater ease.
- Small changes in the area, such as more seating, more public toilets and better signage, which can make leaving the home easier.
- Plenty of green space and common areas to promote interaction among residents.
- Good access to information and advice.
- Numerous services, amenities and shops.
- Inclusive environments that are safe and aesthetically pleasing.
All of these and more could form part of a Lifetime Neighborhood. The process of making such neighborhoods a reality involves listening to the needs and concerns of local residents and providing them with the facilities they need to be more independent.
Improving Housing for Elderly Residents
The whole concept of lifetime neighborhoods is based on the understanding that housing alone is not enough. However, suitable housing is an important factor for elderly people. They need to be independent in their own homes, and there are various factors that should be considered.
Various features can be added to homes to make mobility easier for the inhabitants, such as stairlifts and walk-in baths and showers. An accessible entrance to the home could include a doors that can accommodate a wheelchair user if necessary. Lower countertops in the kitchen, extra drawers rather than large cupboards, lower light switches and more can all play a part, and often special renovations may have to be made.
Energy efficiency is another key area to ensure elderly residents stay warm during the winter without having to pay high bills. This can be improved in any house, no matter how old, by improving insulation and adding double glazing windows for example.
When it comes to saving money, look for heating and housing benefits that may apply to your situation. And don’t forget to consider the energy tariff as well. You could use a tool like the TIL tool from npower to find a better tariff and make potential savings. You can do this yourself in your home, or if you know someone elderly, you could help them to choose a more suitable tariff.
Positive Changes in Homes and Neighborhoods
The concept of lifetime neighborhoods is an important one that could see the quality of life improve for elderly people around the country. However, improvements in the home can also go a long way to helping elderly residents enjoy greater independence and higher levels of comfort. If you know any elderly people who live alone and could use some assistance, consider helping them to make various changes in the home that will enable them to live in greater comfort.
Charlie Coates started in real estate over 25 years ago. With a passionate energy and a great knack for understanding the market, he often writes about the trends and traits of today’s housing market on a variety of home and real estate blogs.