Widening the choices for support in our old age

New research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

JRF has published four new studies exploring potential alternatives to support for older people with high support needs. These publications come at a time when the typical ‘menu’ of support options available to older people is still very limited. Support often amounts to domiciliary care (until needs become too intensive), followed by sheltered/extra care housing (if available locally) and/or a place in a care home.

The studies look beyond what is commonly available, learning from imaginative practice both in the UK and internationally. They draw on learning from a range of groups which are trying to widen these choices – including lesbian, gay and bisexual older people; members of a housing co-op; cohousing groups across the UK; circles of support, shared living arrangements, volunteer and time banking schemes; Together, they identify alternative approaches in support, housing and community.

Common themes include:

· The importance of giving as well as taking - recognising the many ways in which older people can and do contribute to society;

· The need to start discussions about ageing and build networks early on, so that people already have trusting relationships when they need them;

· The role of the state in supporting groups and individuals to meet their aspirations; and

· The need to raise expectations and understanding of what could be possible if we work together in our communities.

The publications are available in our Publications section
For more information, contact Philly Hare, programme manager, on 01904 615967 or at philly.hare@jrf.org.uk<mailto:philly.hare@jrf.org.uk>