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A Housing Generation Gap? Or just a New Approach...

An interesting topic at the moment is the new retiring baby boomers.  We are constantly being told that we are staying healthier and living longer so that when we do eventually retire we are likely to remain active, so that the days of government funded  ‘elderly care’ are numbered.  I am sure we will all still reach the age when we are dependent on this care but for many this will be considerably later in life than has been traditional.

What it does suggest is there is a new generation gap for housing.  A demand to address the housing needs of retired people during the period when they are still physically and mentally active, but maybe seek a different kind of living arrangement to the homes of their working lives.

But is there a gap?  Maybe this generation would prefer to stay within the communities they have always lived in, but just find a way to scale down on space?  I remember when I was young my uncle being very excited when he had secured planning permission on a small paddock to build my gran a little bungalow to quietly see out her days.  It was a lovely spot in a quiet rural part of a quaint Herefordshire village, which many people would have loved.  At the time, my gran was living in the council house estate right alongside the main road passing through the village.  She would spend her days watching the world go by and chatting with her neighbours.  I clearly remember that the day she moved to the peaceful paddock was the day she lost her zest for life.

Elderly care should be just that, the facility we turn to when we are no longer able to care for ourselves.  Until that time these people are important to our communities and we to them.  Their knowledge and life experience is invaluable and the backbone of our communities and equally we are valuable to them as we keep them active even if they don’t know it!

How can we look at creating new kinds of more flexible housing developments that will accommodate the diverse needs of every age group?

Written by Gareth Williams

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