Improving Living for Older People

Article excerpt

Byline: By Sue Jackson

Researchers from North-East universities have joined forces to study housing needs of older people ( particularly in the region.

The Housing for Older People Research Group (Hope) has been set up under the umbrella of the Institute for Ageing and Health which has an international reputation for work aimed at improving well-being in later life.

The importance of housing in maintaining the health and independence of older people has long been recognised. Hope brings together specialists in the built environment at Newcastle and Northumbria universities and includes social scientists, psychologists, clinicians and engineers working in technology.

Such a mix is essential if Hope is to address effectively the complex factors that contribute to quality of life in old age. Hope will involve older people in the identification of research priorities, the planning of studies, and even in carrying out the research itself.

Hope says it is fortunate to have the involvement of older people with real experience in housing issues, adding that the North-East has proportionately more older people than any region in England and it is essential that they are involved fully to find solutions that suit everyone.

The main aim of Hope is improving quality of life through inter-disciplinary research on all aspects of the housing needs and experience of older people.

The very diverse needs of this age group need to be understood in the context of health, social interactions, design, services, housing policies and many other factors which influence well-being. …