Reports from the working groups

Group A

There needs to be a strong distinction if you thinking of shopping and travel if you are rural or urban based and planning need to be very different in those two places.

Need to think to plan to bringing facilities to people in much higher need, but people who weren't be able to go out and do things and maintain their independence.

65 to 85 age group is extremely diverse and there needs to be much more evidence of the needs and preferences of the reasonably active ones and are pretty independent and those who are not

Accommodation :- we were very strongly in favour in letting people function to their capabilities rather than taking the easier option on planning terms restricting people functioning as it is easier that way. Strongly in favour of new built being adaptable - not su much in view of Lego-type adaptation moving rooms from one house to another but of house that are built so that they can be adapted from being a family house in the first instance to later being an accommodation for an elderly person downstairs which then as single household people in as lodgers or as pointed out even their middle aged children living in their own space. Thus houses which are flexible in use over time an with no major structural change. Certainly not separated from the community and recogising that some people wanted choice to live in a cluster of flats and that they would like live in contact with local community if they wish to do so.

Group B

Facilities: Transport - the ability to access them and some favourable comments made regarding public transport and making sure that transport is available for older people and that facilities are accessible. The need for facilities to meet the challenges of loneliness and avoid being isolated - facilities need to be the right environment for people when they want to meet and not be compelled to meet `907:24`0 very strong need for old people to meet and not be in isolation.

Accommodation: a huge group vote in favour of lifetime homes and a desire for more choice and better design - design for new housing or existing houses and a feeling that there was not enough choice nor good design available

Environment: we want a range of environments for older people and for people to exercise choice and for those choices to be elastic so that people can move as their needs change. One of the things we have not yet talked about is the desire for older people's need not to be catered alone but some facilities would e.g. benefit younger people younger families and for facilities to be shared and be elastic. Thus we had strong discussion on integration, meeting places and choice.

Group C

Group D

Facilities: The Group thought that all new developments should have as many local facilities as each development could sustain - not just for old people but because it was a more sustainable and social way of life. It was particularly (but not uniquely) important for old people who may have greater mobility and dependency problems and suffer from loneliness.

Design of houses: The Group broadly endorsed the views of the speakers - that houses should be built with features which allow elderly and infirm people to function better - and agreed with the need for challenges. However the Group was cautious about increasing pressure on the already beleaguered house-building industry - we need many more house urgently and anything which detracts from this needs scrutiny. A balance need to be found between greater quantity of houses and better quality.

Provision of housing: The Group felt strongly that old people should not be regarded as a homogenous group and the diverse desires and needs should be recognized in a range of housing choices. There was some support for more granny flat / annexe type provision of housing.

Finance: the Group on the whole was willing to pay more tax to finance housing.

Group E

Three most important things:

  • green spaces - personal green spaces i.e. manageable gardens and community green spaces
  • a flexible community facility - e.g health visitor space, meeting space and social facilities
  • adaptable homes - interior layout which is adaptable and well designed; not all homes adaptable but we would like to see a variety of alternative homes; housing option and advice service to help people to choose which home is right for them
  • also transport and access - but within house more challenging to keep people fit

    Group F

    Facilities: all those listed were needed but also wanted to add others such as public toilets and community centres. The group thought it more important that people must be able to access them and were much more concerned about access and public transport than proximity: Older people often do not have access to private transport and they should not require it to access services.

    Adaptability: The group could not add anything to the Lifetime Homes presentation, they liked all the adaptations and should like them enforced through building regulations. They felt many of the features would be cost neutral and others useful to all members of society and not just the elderly e.g. pushchairs and bicycles need extra hall space.

    Environment: clearly 'one size fits all' does not work in this respect and a variety of types are needed. . The group wanted adaptable new build and favoured dedicated accommodation for older people who wish to do that - though all should be connected to the wider community - and many people do want to stay in their own homes. The group wished to incentivise older people to move out of their large houses. Should there be a grant for moving or a even a stamp duty reduction? Even better make the new homes really attractive so they want to move to them. Downsizing saves money. A specialist adviser who could advise on their move would be very useful.

    The overall view was that if we get it right for older people then we also get it right for everybody!