The   three most  important and  basic  requirements  for the frail elders  are  1)  appropriate  residential  facilities;  2)  user  friendly  transportation   and  3)  easily available  correct healthcare.


I would  like  to  talk about  'housing and accommodation'  for  older people in this  blog.  


As  one gets older, their physical  capacity  and  agilty  tend to diminish.  A  big  4 bedroomed house  with  2  bathrooms and a large garden and a garage  may  be too much  and  unnecessary for one or two people. Yet  many  continue to reside on.  The property becomes somewhat derelict , the garden  unkempt and the garage  full of  old  rubbish - home  of rats and cats.  If not correspondingly  readjusted, the heating bill  remains high etc etc  -  the individual finds it difficult to handle it.  


Some  feel  that people  should sell their  old  property and move into a smaller  apartment  preferably  near the home of a close  family member  willing to help out  at times of need.  Others feel  this may not work out well always.  Uprooting oneself from one's  known surrounding , neighbours and local  friends  may not be  always  sensible ;  one will invariably feel 'more lonely' at  a totally  unknown new  setting.  And  most importantly , those  'close' relations  whose  company and  assistance one  had  banked  on, may not be  'available'  all the time.  And  'proximity' does not necessarily  increase  the level of  'affection'.  The  'so called'  loving care  doesn't take long to evaporate !!


So what is the ideal  solution ?  Perhaps a bit of both.  Improved   and easy  living  where  one used to be  and  more  frequent visits and support  by  close relations , if available.  These  days in many countries , and in this one, authorities are  seriously  thinking , planning and  building  better  easy 'social'  housing units which  could make life a lot easier for even the most frail individual.  And  if  'living' can be improved and made  user-friendly, many  will continue  to reside  in their own 'home' rather than seeking  shelter  elsewhere.   This does not necessarily mean  'ghettos' of older  people  ;  these units can be built and run  amidst  ordinary  residential   estates.   With nearly  10%  of  citizens  being above 80  and  often  with  frailty,  the society must  become more and more  'age-freindly'.   The  residential units are  made  more safe  with  help easily available  at times of  immediate need  --   various community based 'activities'  could provide  company  and  mental stimulation.    

It  is often forgotten , suitable and appropriate  residence  is so useful and important -  it makes life more bearable and enjoyable  and may reduce  'dependency'!!