Our research for the NVP focused on the question, “Would people age 55 and above prefer to rent or own their home?” The way people think about their living environments as they age is changing. The word ‘home’ no longer defines a building where older people go to end their day. It is now a place where older people go to make the most of the next phase of life. Older people want homes that give them independence, choice and the ability to maintain their friendships and family contacts. They do not see their homes simply as a place where they receive health or social care. This is a place that our group would like to build and provide to our older individual’s in order to provide them with a residence they love and consider home. Older people want buildings that enable them to stay independent and allow them contact with their friends and family. Space is important, too. No one wants to live in an isolated or unsafe part of town and most people want access to local amenities, such as parks and shops. Good design is vital, because it makes for a building where people are able to live how they want, and enables the delivery of home care and/or support services. However, good home care is not just about the design of a building; it is also about the services provided within that building. Housing operates in a market, and choice is important for anyone buying or renting a home. Size, location, cost and amenities inform the decisions that people make about where they live. The government has responded to the social care consumer’s demand for choice and control in its housing policies and in initiatives, such as the personalization of social care, which are intended to give consumers of care more choice over how care is delivered. Being in a comfortable home is what most individuals prefer as they get older. People want to retain choice about where and how they live and to have a say over how they are cared for. They also want to keep their independence and stay connected to local communities and family networks. This research will be of interest to our group through the NVP process.
One of the main questions we are trying to answer as a group is whether people age 55 and up would rather rent or own their homes. As Debbie Faulkner of the “Australasian Journal on Ageing” stated “Not only will there be demands for increasing numbers of houses but also increasing demands for greater choice, variety and greater expectations about the quality of that housing and the type of facilities associated with, or in close proximity to, that housing.” More often than not, people leave their parents’ house as a young adult, to either live independently, with friends or to live with a companion. A few years later, those same individuals may rent a home with their love interest. Once the couple decides to start a family, they may decide to move into a home that would change their status from “renters” to “homeowners.”
Their new home is where they would raise their children until their adulthood. Some people may remain in their mortgaged or paid for homes, until one or both of the home owners pass on. Some will move to elder care facilities, also known as nursing homes. Now more than ever, we’re seeing that many couples/individuals become second time home owners once their children are grown and have moved into their own homes.
There are a few factors that would help promote the older population to want to move. Those factors include: retirement, marital status, disability and support, income, tenure, etc. Most of the time seniors move after they’ve retired into homes that have climatic or recreational appeal. Divorce and widowhood can also stimulate the need for an elder to want to relocate to another home or to downsize their home. Changes in one’s health status can also be a reason for someone of the older age to want to move. As self independence declines, the need to change one’s living status increases.