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Preparing to grow old together

Victor Forrest

15 January 2013

How can housing co-operatives best support their older residents?

This Viewpoint details Brixton Housing Co-op's (BHC's) experiences of working together to improve member’s chances of staying out of residential care, counteract loneliness in later life and improve support.

Key points:

  • The most significant action BHC members took was to begin talking with others about the issue of ageing and how they might help themselves.
  • It is important to recognise that it is not being older that is a problem but being older in our current society; and that we can work together to make positive changes.
  • We all have something to give, and we all need support of one sort or another.

This Viewpoint comes at a time when the typical housing 'menu' available to older people is still very limited. Support often amounts to domiciliary care (until needs become too intensive), followed by sheltered/extra care housing (if available locally) and/or a place in a care home.

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