Older people in rural Suffolk areas face 'very specific problems' amid care shortage
|Author: Farminguk||Published: 12th September 2017 16:56|
Older people in rural areas face 'very specific problems' amid care shortage
APPG: "We must get housing options right for older people in the countryside"
An All-Party Parliamentary Group inquiry is making the case for housing and care options in the countryside following new statistics on the need for more specialist homes.
New research from the Local Government Association (LGA) has found that an extra 400,000 specialist homes are needed to house older people across Britain within the next 20 years.
An inquiry by the APPG for Housing and Care for Older People is underway to consider housing and care options for older people in our rural areas.
Lord Richard Best, Co-Chair of the APPG and the inquiry, said the statistics released by the LGA are a "striking realisation" that the inquiry is "crucial".
He said the UK government must consider housing options are right for rural Britain's ageing population.
Lord Best said: "The nation's villages are getting older every year, as young people and families leave and the proportion of older people increases. A quarter of the 11.4 million people living in predominantly rural areas are now over 65 years old - that's 2.8 million people.
"It is still early days but the inquiry is making good progress and taking evidence from a range of specialist organisations and housing providers to help us formulate robust policy recommendations. We would still be delighted to hear from anyone with views on the solutions to this urgent issue."
'Very specific challenges'
Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive of leading rural housing association Hastoe, said older people in rural areas face "very specific challenges".
She said: "It is crucial that the correct kind of housing and support is available in their communities, so that they do not have to decide between living in inappropriate accommodation or moving far away from all their family and friends in later life.
"The closure of important rural facilities such as post offices, shops and pubs is irreversible and is having a grave effect for older people. It is exacerbated further by poor rural connectivity and public transport links, as well as limited access to support and social care as council funds become tighter and tighter.
"This inquiry is important as it recognises that we need homes which are both affordable and suitable for people's whole lifetimes. Fundamentally, we need a much more diverse range of housing types and tenures available to older people across the countryside."