A thoughtful article in The Guardian by Aleks Collingwood of The Joseph Rowntree Foundation highlights the disincentives that exist at present in the widely-assumed-to-be-desirable downsizing of accommodation by older people to meet their own needs better and to make more efficient use of their larger houses by other families. Among the points made, “There’s a negative framing of the debate – downsizing emphasises loss of status and reduced importance. To interest more people in moving there not only has to be a wider and more attractive choice of housing options, but we need to think carefully how these options are labelled.” Read the comments too: It’s time for a new model of specialist housing for older people.
At least it is several centuries since older people in the UK, unlike their counterparts in Ghana, faced being ostracised as witches. Older people are wrongly accused of witchcraft (GhanaWeb) although one wonders if the underlying impulse to isolate older people from the mainstream of society is not actually the same.
UPDATE 11 June: It seems appropriate to add here an article about housing for older people by Malcolm Fisk, published a few weeks ago: Old age debate (in Inside Housing. See the comments, too “…the disservice we have ‘done to’ many older people by shrinking their lives … to a flat, to a room, to a chair, to a purse / wallet, to a photo.”)