Ageing in place – what should we do?

A lot of work in environmental health is invariably about the bottom end of privately rented sector, where housing conditions are at their most acute. However there is little published about the environmental health role in owner occupied housing where residents ‘age in place’. This has become a more complex area as with our ageing population comes a concurrent rise in degenerative disease and a need for more specialist services to respond to the interrelated needs of housing, health and social care.

This week the Journal of Integrated Care published a piece by Jill Stewart and colleagues entitled Ageing at home? Meeting housing, health and social needs, (not open access) which consolidates a range of issues relevant to owner occupiers who age in place. It suggests how effective partnerships might respond to and meet the changing needs of housing, health and social care of our ageing population as most owners wish to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. We need however to think through new and innovative ways of developing and providing front-line services to enhance health and safety in the home alongside addressing quality of life and well-being, including tackling loneliness and isolation. There are examples of evidence-based good practice, but scope for service provision to be improved – what could or should we expect from housing, health and social care services as we ourselves age?

Jill

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