Home for Good

A vase of purple and white flowers sits on a small table with a cup of tea, an open book and a pair of glasses.What is a home? It’s so much more than a shelter from the elements. The concept of home gives us a place in the world. It underpins our identity, our relationships and our understanding of who we are and where we fit in the scheme of things. It is intrinsic to the human condition. Yet it is overlooked in the development of policies to support housing provision.

Home for Good is a policy brief “intended to restore the idea of home as both a psychological and social asset to our discourse on housing, rather than just a financial asset. It is specifically concerned with the role of the home as we age, positing that successful ageing is dependent on a person’s access to a home that provides security, community, safety and autonomy”. The policy brief poses a policy framework for a national approach to providing older Australians with homes that meet their social, emotional, environmental, and psychological needs.

The policy brief says nothing about the design of homes, but it does tap into the real meaning of home for many older people – the social equity. Hence the reticence to move to age segregated living. The article can be downloaded from the Analysis & Policy Observatory. It’s by Emma Dawson and Myfan Jordan of Per Capita. Easy to read.

Also see 2013 qualitative Australian research about housing design and older people, Chasing ‘The Great Australian Dream’: Definition of and “Ideal Home’ among Baby Boomers. It’s interesting to not that in less than ten years our terminology has changed from “the elderly” and “the aged” to “older Australians”.

Extract from Abstract: “The study reveals that ‘ageing in place’, is a preferred option for the aged. This raises questions as to how well the housing system and neighbourhood environments are able to support ageing in place, and what aging factors should be taken into consideration when designing Baby boomer’s home to facilitate health and wellbeing. Therefore, this research designed a qualitative approach to investigate Australian Baby Boomers homes around Queensland, predominantly in the Brisbane area, using semi-structured interviews and observations.”

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