Viewing housing and neighbourhoods as a single space

A red house between green ones.
Picture credit: picture alliance / moodboard / Martin Poole

As people get older, they spend more and more time in their homes. Their housing arrangements are key to ensuring quality of life, happiness and wellbeing – in old age even more so than in younger years. Most elderly people today would like to be able to stay in their familiar surroundings for as long as they can. This is the case even if they are ill and need care and support. The aim of our “Wohnen im Alter” (Housing in Old Age) programmes and projects is thus to promote independent, self-determined living, both in old age and in all phases of life. The focal points of the various programmes and projects take in shared housing, age-appropriate home conversions, ambient-assisted homes, local support and advisory services, neighbourhood help schemes, the provision of social services and improving living conditions to help people stay in their homes by offering family carers a range of options that provide them some relief. These issues highlight the fact that housing in old age is not just a matter of accommodation, but also of local surroundings, infrastructure, social contacts and integration.

Housing in old age: a shared responsibility

Not only policymakers, but also the crafts and trades sector, municipal authorities, the housing industry, senior citizens’ organisations and civil society can contribute to providing comfortable housing for the elderly and enabling them to participate in social life.