Over the next two decades the population over age 65 will swell by around 60%, and all us older people will need somewhere to live. That’s quite a challenge as older people’s housing needs are usually quite different from the family homes most of us have become used to when younger. Once the children (if we have them) leave home, and there’s just one or two of us, we’re often looking for something smaller, simpler, easier to manage.

Research shows that older adults benefit from remaining for as long as possible in the community where they’ve spent their adult years, and usually in our own property. It’s familiar and encourages continuing social interaction, which is important at any stage of life but especially as you get older. But for many, especially single people, it can also become rather lonely, as well as occupying housing which is often much larger than is actually required.  

Many able-bodied and healthy older adults are also choosing to move into new apartment complexes tailored to the needs of older adults. They usually have wide hallways, ramps and accessible showers, as well as social activities and even a cafeteria on-site. These options meet the needs of many older people, cost far less than care homes, and afford older folks more of their prized independence.

But increasingly there are other options, some of which are explored here, which are designed to balance the physical, social and emotional needs of older people with the promises of exciting developments in architecture, technology, and collective planning and decision-making.

Enjoy checking out the possibilities!