Shortage of suitable flats looms for elderly to live in independently

There will be a shortage of up to 80,000 homes suitable for people who are no longer entitled to residential care over the next eight years, according to a government advisory committee in a new report.

The government wants to ensure more elderly and people with disabilities or psychiatric problems remain living in their own homes with friends and family providing substantial care services.

This means 10,000 elderly people, 1,300 people with disabilities and 800 psychiatric patients will need to remain in their own homes or move to more suitable accommodation.

Limited alternatives

‘Vulnerable people will fall through the gap in the coming years because there are only limited affordable alternatives available,’ the report, drawn up on behalf of the cabinet, says.

For example, elderly people who find it hard to walk will need to move into ground floor flats because they will be unable to use the stairs, the report points out.

It recommends councils, housing corporations, insurance companies and banks work together to ensure a smooth transition to the more community-based care system. It suggests banks could be more open to extending mortgages to people who want to adapt their homes for their old age.