Cabinet Secretary for Minister for Spokesperson for Infrastructure and Capital Investment
Housing and Transport Community
Councillor Harry McGuigan
Wellbeing and Safety Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA)
Older people consistently say that they want to remain at home, as they age. For most people, this will not be a problem, but some will need a bit of help to enable them to do this. Living in the right home with the right physical features is clearly important, but so are support services, many of which are provided by the housing sector. The right support can provide the key to enabling people to remain independently at home and, in most cases, costs a fraction of the residential care alternatives.
With the twin challenges of an ageing population and reduced availability of public funding, we need to change the way we deliver services to focus on those which help support independent living and prevent or reduce the need for more intensive services. This will not only achieve what older people want, but will also help us to make the best use of our limited resources.
This strategy has been agreed by the Scottish Government and COSLA. It has been developed in partnership with the housing, health and social care sectors - public, private and voluntary - and in consultation with older people. It presents a vision for housing and housing-related support for older people, the outcomes we want to achieve and a framework of actions we will take.
While this strategy focuses on those older people who have particular housing-related support needs, we must remember that older people, whether or not they need support, contribute much to our communities. Many unpaid carers are also older, as are many volunteers who provide other forms of support to older people.
This strategy proposes ways in which we can all help to realise the aspirations of enabling older people to live independently at home. It is aimed not only at those who are older now, but also at people preparing for retirement, who need to consider options for older age before they reach it. Our focus is on prevention and giving people the choices they need to live the best lives possible.
We have the opportunity to change Scotland's housing to make Scotland a better and fairer place. We must not let the challenging economic situation and public sector funding constraints stop us from achieving this strategy. We need nothing less than an urgent and sustained programme of reform, focused on improving outcomes through greater integration of public services at a local level, based on principles of localism, partnership and collaborative working. This strategy is an important step towards this. We are delighted that we have developed it together and are jointly committed to implementing it successfully.
Older people may be the ones who benefit most directly from this strategy, but if we can achieve its aims, we will all - as a community and of whatever age - benefit in the long term.
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government St Andrew's House Regent Road Edinburgh EH1 3DG