Age, Home and Community strategy: progress report

Update on action to support older people to live independently at home.

05 New Build Housing

We said: we will review whether current building and design standards meet the needs of older people.

In July 2012 the first stage of comparison of Housing for Varying Needs standards, Scottish Building standards and Lifetime Homes standards was completed. This was followed in autumn 2014 by further work on housing standards by Housing Supply and Building Standards. 94% of houses built by housing associations and councils in 2015-16 met varying needs standards. In progress

We said: we will encourage the development of new models of housing with care and support in all tenures.

Following on from the case study website, we now need to work with partners including housing developers to address the needs and issues associated with providing appropriate homes for older people. In progress

We said: we will deliver an affordable housing supply programme, which enables local authorities to meet local needs, including for older people and disabled people.

From April 2012 to March 2016, 2,358 homes specifically for older people and people with physical disabilities were delivered through the affordable housing supply programme. Over the lifetime of this Parliament over £3 billion is being invested to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes across Scotland of which 35,000 will be for social rent. Local authorities are now required by law to prepare a local housing strategy supported by an assessment of housing need. New Local Housing Strategy guidance for local authorities was issued in August 2014. In progress

We said: we will increase awareness of the features of new housing that are important to older people and how they can be built into new developments.

In 2012 a planning case study website was established to provide examples of how to develop housing that works for older people. In June 2014 an up-to-date Scottish Planning Policy was published, including a section on Specialist Housing Provision and Other Specific Needs. In 2017, we launched a planning consultation, followed by a Scottish Government position statement setting out how it will take forward 20 planning proposals including stronger local development plans that are supported by better community and developer involvement and earlier independent input; and giving people a new right to plan their own place. The intention is to introduce a planning bill by the end of 2017. In progress

Case Studies

Fortune Place, Edinburgh, Castle Rock Edinvar

Castle Rock Edinvar’s Fortune Place won the Development of the Year (Age Exclusive) award at the Scottish Home Awards in June 2016. Fortune Place consists of 54 flats, the majority of which are two bedroom to take account of those who require sleep-in care or want family to stay. There is storage for scooters, wheelchairs and hoists and lift access to wheelchair adapted homes that are not restricted to ground floors. Each flat has a defined private entrance and the majority have direct access to a private balcony or patio. It has a district heating system to address fuel poverty.

Working with Scottish Futures Trust and the Scottish Government Digital Participation Team, a grant of £36,000 has supported infrastructure costs so that each home has Wi-Fi to improve online access and provide a platform to test telehealth and telecare solutions for older people. The development has dementia-friendly elements such as glazed wall cupboards in the kitchen, open plan living, doors from the bedroom directly into the bathroom and showers instead of baths.

Castle Rock Edinvar recognised that to promote physical and mental well-being in older people, a scheme needs more than just well-designed and well-built housing. They created space for people to share, encouraging people to converse, socialise and feel part of a community. A £356,000 Big Lottery grant enabled a community capacity builder to be appointed and also allowed for a multi-functional detached Garden Room to be built, providing a focus for creativity and engagement within the landscaped space. Activities include art therapy, craft classes, digital skills and Tai Chi among others.

Hanover Scotland, Varis Court, Forres

The 33 two bedroom flats have been developed in partnership with Health & Social Care Moray (the Integrated Joint Board involving Moray Council and NHS Grampian) and the Scottish Government.

Seven of the flats are for people with dementia, within a dementia friendly zone which includes bespoke communal facilities. Another five flats are used by Forres Health Centre for recovery, enablement and support services for people just discharged from hospital. GPs will be able to refer patients directly. The flats will be for short term stays and will have 24/7 nursing care. All residents will have access to an onsite care team and every property is connected to Hannover’s 24 hour community alarm system. The development has energy efficient heating systems, Wi-Fi and capability to host SMART technology.

The new residents have been very positive saying “We like the staff – they provide great care and make us feel very comfortable.”

Conclusion and Next Steps

Five years into our 10 year strategy, older people continue to tell us they want to live in their own homes so we are continuing to develop policies and strategies which reflect this. In particular we want to ensure people have more choice of appropriate housing that can meet their needs and maintain their independence.

The case studies illustrate the ingenuity and resourcefulness of our stakeholders. Sometimes it is the efforts and ideas of one committed individual that makes a difference and sometimes it needs stakeholders and Scottish Government working together to realise positive benefits for our older people.

While we recognise the many successful outcomes over the last five years, and our partners and stakeholders have responded with resilience and determination to address the many changes that impact on housing for older people, there is still much to do.

Since the strategy was published in 2011, we have seen the formation of 31 new Health and Social Care Partnerships set up to deliver integrated health and social care services; the Scotland Act 2016 which devolves a range of social security powers to the Scottish Parliament and the introduction of Self-directed Support which gives people greater choice and control over how their care and support is delivered.

These and other changes need to be taken into account as we move into the next five years of the strategy. While many of the original commitments are still relevant and are ongoing, there is more we can do to go further and faster to ensure older people have housing options which support their independence and wellbeing throughout later life. We will continue to work with stakeholders to make sure that with the appropriate care, support and adaptations older people are able to continue to live independently in their own homes for as long as they choose to do so.

For these reasons we will be publishing a refreshed strategy.


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