Care,Communities and Housing,Global Ageing

Tuesday 30th January 2018, 16:15 (for a 16:30 start) – 17:30 followed by a drinks reception 17:30 - 19:00; House of Lords, Westminster

ILC-UK held a report launch, panel discussion and drinks reception on international perspectives for stimulating the UK Housing-with-Care sector, kindly supported by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), on Tuesday 30th January 2018 in London.

There are important questions around how prepared the UK is to meet the housing and social care needs of older people as population ageing continues to reshape society. Appropriate housing options to facilitate ageing in place can be a powerful tool to address these issues – enabling older people wishing to downsize to do so, and providing an efficient and preventative way of addressing health and social care demands. However, the UK lags behind a number of other countries in the provision of specialist later life housing.

To help identify what might facilitate or encourage more movement in this area, ILC-UK conducted research with support from ARCO to learn from countries with more success in developing their specialist retirement housing sector. We investigated this issue in published literature, through a stakeholder roundtable in London, and with a series of expert interviews in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, looking at how factors related to legislation, regulation, and the cultural context might influence housing-with-care provision.

During the event, heard from report author and ILC-UK Senior Research Fellow, Dr Brian Beach, who highlighted a number of recommendations that could help development of this sector.

Dr Brian Beach's presentation slides from the event are available to view below:

Care,Communities and Housing,Economics of Age,Health,Longevity

Wednesday, 22nd February 2017; 10:00 (for 10:30) – 12:30, Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ

On Wednesday, 22nd February, the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) and Cass Business School hosted the launch of a new report entitled 'Does living in a retirement village extend life expectancy? The case of Whiteley Village'.

The UK population over age 65 is projected to increase by more than 40% during the next 17 years to over 16 million; while the number of people in the UK over age 85 is expected to double during the next 23 years to more than 3.4 million. With the population ageing so rapidly, finding ways in which the older population can live their later lives in relative health and comfort has become an increasingly important issue in the UK.

One relatively recent development is the creation of retirement villages in the UK, to house and care for the increasing numbers of older people who are attracted to this type of communal retirement living. Until now, studies of retirement villages have sought to examine funding options or quality of life outcomes for residents. However, this new report is the first of its kind to consider whether retirement village life can extend life expectancy.

Using Whiteley Retirement Village as a case study, and utilising a century’s worth of data derived from resident records, this report examines differences in life expectancy between Whiteley Village residents compared to the general population; it also accounts for gender and socio-economic disparities in life expectancy.

The presentation slides from the event are available to view below:

Care,Communities and Housing,Economics of Age,Quality of Life,Work and Retirement

Tuesday 24th January 2017; 16:00 (for 16:30 start) - 18:30 (followed by a short drinks reception); Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Staple Inn Hall, High Holborn, London, WC1V 7QJ

As the population of the UK continues to age, the demand for social care increases, as do the associated costs. How to pay for long term care is therefore a hot topic in the insurance world and amongst policy makers.

This event saw the launch of a new paper from the ILC-UK and Cass Business School which investigates different ways in which individuals can purchase and pay for insurance products specifically to help them to pay for their care costs in later life.

Chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, Chief Executive of the ILC-UK, the launch included a keynote presentation from report co-author Professor Les Mayhew, with responses offered by Jules Constantinou, Regional Manage, Gen Re Life/Health; Brian Fisher, Aviva/Friends Life, and Steve Lowe, Just.

Please click here to download an audio recording of the event's presentations and discussion.

The presentation slides delivered at the event can be downloaded below.


Care,Communities and Housing,Health,Quality of Life

Monday, 5th December 2016; 09:00 (for 09:30) – 11:30; London

In my role as Chief Executive of the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), I will be hosting a roundtable discussion on how the Enhanced Care Worker role can be encouraged and managed.

In June 2016, ILC-UK, kindly supported by The Department of Health, conducted research and launched a report which for the first time explored the emerging role of what was termed an Enhanced Care Worker in the adult social care sector. Whilst the title of the role differs between providers, sometimes called a Care Practitioner or Senior Care Lead, it is defined as upskilling care workers to provide enhanced clinical support to the registered nurse.

The launch event and panel discussion held in the House of Lords in July 2016 stimulated an engaging and passionate discussion, and found that there was a real desire for leaders across the care homer sector to work together to develop and move towards a standardisation of the role which would benefit both staff within the sector as well as residents themselves. Many audience members expressed the desire for this conversation to continue beyond the afternoon event.

How can this role contribute towards making nursing in the care home sector more attractive? Would a national accreditation scheme be viable and desirable? And does this role align with the newly proposed Nurse Associate role?

This is an invitation only event, if you are interested in more information, please contact us at

Communities and Housing

Wednesday 12th October 2016; 10:00 (for a 10:30 start) - 12:30; Legal & General, One Coleman Street, London, EC2R 5AA

On the 12th October 2016, the ILC-UK held a Housing in an Ageing Society event, kindly hosted by Legal & General and supported by the ILC-UK Partners Programme.

On Tuesday, 19th July the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) launched our “Housing in an ageing society” factpack with the support of FirstPort.

The report found a significant increase in older people living alone, yet millions were failing to adapt their homes to help them live independently.

  • The State of the Nation’s Housing’ reports that:Only around half of those over 50s experiencing limitations in Activities of Daily Living, live in homes with any adaptations.
  • Those in retirement housing are significantly more likely to be living in homes with adaptations than those who do not. Approximately 87% of those in retirement housing have home adaptations, by comparison to around 60% of other housing.
  • There could be a retirement housing gap of 160,000 by 2030 if current trends continue. By 2050, the gap could grow to 376,000.
  • Over 16 million people – mainly owner occupied, middle aged and older households - live in under-occupied housing.
  • Growing numbers of 45-64 year olds, and 65-74 year olds are living alone, with 6 million people living in houses with two or more excess bedrooms.

At the event we explored these trends and consider how policymakers should respond.


  • Sally Randall, Director, Housing Standards and Support, Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive, Legal & General;
  • Dr Brian Beach, Research Fellow, ILC-UK

The presentation slides from the event are available to view here:

Care,Communities and Housing,Economics of Age,Future of Age,Health,Intergenerational,Pensions,Quality of Life,Work and Retirement

Thursday 17th March 2016; 14:30 - 16:30; House of Lords, Westminster, London

We held an event to debate the impact of the 2016 Budget on the Future of Retirement Incomes. The debate, chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross and supported by the International Longevity Centre –UK’s (ILC-UK) Partners Programme, took place ahead of our Second Retirement Income Summit on 10th June and will feed into ILC-UK’s plans for the event.

Following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review in November 2015, Chancellor George Osbourne will deliver the second Budget of this Parliament’s Conservative majority Government on Wednesday 16th March 2016.

During the ILC-UK organised debate, we presented our initial analysis of the Budget, looking beyond the immediate ‘winners and losers’ commentary to consider whether the long-term challenges of low productivity, systemic under saving by private individuals and the critical underfunding of adult social care are being addressed. Ben Franklin, Head of Economics of an Ageing Society at ILC-UK presented the analysis, and was on hand to answer any questions delegates had. We also heard from Chris Noon, Partner at Hymans Robertson, and Laurence Baxter, Head of Policy & Research at The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

The 2015 Budget and the Comprehensive Spending Review confounded expectations through revealing a revised projected increase of public finance provisions of £27 billion by 2020 thereby enabling the Government to halt proposed tax credit cuts. It also saw the Chancellor stick to his promise of maintaining real terms spending on health, schools and defence while further cutting local government coffers. The 2016 Budget will undoubtedly contain its own surprises, including an anticipated announcement regarding the future of pensions tax relief just one year on from “pension freedoms”.

For more information about the ILC-UK Partners Programme, please click on the below hyperlink:

Members of the ILC-UK Partners Programme are Anchor, Audley, Aviva, Equiniti, Hymans Robertson, Legal & General, Partnership, Prudential and Retirement Advantage.


Please see below for Ben Franklin's presentations slides from the event.

Care,Communities and Housing

Wednesday 19th August 2015; 16:00 (for a 16:30 start) – 18:00, followed by a drinks reception; Rennie Room, One Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AA

On the 19th August, we held a launch event of a new research report “Village life:Independence, Loneliness, and Quality of Life in Retirement Villages with Extra Care” which considers the impact of retirement villages on independence, loneliness and quality of life of residents.

The report incorporates a survey of residents and compares the sample with a comparable group of non-residents living in private housing.

The report was produced with the support of Bupa and Audley. Anchor provided additional survey respondents.

During the launch, Brian Beach, Research Fellow at ILC-UK, presented the findings of the research. Nick Sanderson, CEO of Audley, and Jeremy Porteus, Founder and Director or Housing LIN (Learning and Improvement Network), responded.

Following the presentations, there was an opportunity for debate, followed by a wine reception.

'Village Life: Independence, Loneliness, and Quality of Life in Retirement Villages with Extra Care' is available to download here.

Brian Beach's presentation slides from the event are available to view below:

Communities and Housing,Future of Age,Health,Quality of Life,Work and Retirement

Thursday 30th April 2015; Bloomsbury, London; 17:45 (for an 18:00 start) – 19:45, followed by a drinks reception.

BBC Question Time, with David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, presented by David Dimbleby was shown during the drinks reception following the event.

With a week to go until the General Election took place, ILC-UK and Independent Age organised a debate on Thursday 30th April. Away from the heat and fury of the election campaign, we hoped to create a chance to have a real debate to identify the most important priorities for all political parties, if the UK is truly going to rise to the challenge of a rapidly ageing population, in the next Parliament.

Following the 2014 launch of 2030 Vision: The Best and Worst Futures for Older People in the UK, Independent Age invited more than 30 opinion formers and leading charities and think tanks to blog their views on what we need to do to get ready for demographic change. The blogs kick-started a consultation which saw over 300 people respond, sharing their own hopes and fears of growing older in the UK. The results of this consultation were published in Independent Age’s November 2014 document, ‘2030 Vision: What we have learnt’ –

Six big themes emerged:

  • Ageist attitudes still exist and many people worry they will face discrimination or becoming hidden members of society
  • Older people worry about the cost of living and many fear they are being financially squeezed
  • Older people are increasingly concerned about the future quality and sustainability of health and social care services
  • Older people worry about feeling lonely, but they also have concerns about feeling cut off as digital services increasingly replace face-to-face service provision
  • Older people want to continue making a positive contribution to their neighbourhoods and communities
  • Older people have a keen sense of what’s fair and how their contributions should be rewarded in retirement, but they also worry about how their children and grandchildren will fare

During this debate we considered older people’s main concerns as identified in the consultation and identified the priority areas that any incoming government should focus on. We hope to include these in an open letter which would be sent to the leaders of the three main political parties after the election, outlining how organisations working on older people’s issues believe we can build a better future for older people in the UK.

Speakers and panellists included: Briony Gunstone (YouGov), Caroline Abrahams (Age UK), Claire Turner (JRF) and Paul Cann (Campaign Management Group Partner at Campaign to End Loneliness; CEO, Age UK [Oxfordshire]). The event was chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross (ILC-UK) and Janet Morrison (Independent Age)

Following the debate, delegates were invited to join us for wine and canapés.

This was a private event.

Briony Gunstone's presentation slides from the event are available to view below:

Communities and Housing,Dementia,Quality of Life

Tuesday 27th January 2015; 15:30 – 17:00; House of Lords, London

Eventbrite - Report Launch: Inquiry into Electrical Safety in an Ageing Society

On behalf of the ILC-UK and Electrical Safety First, we invite you to celebrate the launch of our report on the challenges our ageing population poses to electrical safety.

The report is a culmination of extensive research, a ‘call’ for information, an evidence session attended by experts in the fields of housing and dementia, and a high-level review group. This has all helped form this final report, which we will launch on the 27th January 2015.

With the support of Electrical Safety First, we hope the report will highlight the often maligned importance of maintaining high levels of electrical safety, and draw attention to the challenges our ageing population poses to electrical safety. The inquiry has identified two key areas – housing and dementia – which the report will focus on. An increase in the number of older people, both with and without dementia, means that the need to create a home environment which is as safe as possible has never been greater.

We will be inviting a range of guests, some of whom will have taken part in the enquiry but also a wider audience of journalists, politicians and experts in the fields of housing policy and dementia. We do hope you will be able to join us for this very special event.


Communities and Housing,Future of Age,Older Consumers,Quality of Life,Work and Retirement

Tuesday 18th November 2014; House of Lords, Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA; 15:30 (for a 16:00 start) - 18:00

During 2014, ILC-UK, supported by the specialist insurer Partnership Assurance Group plc (Partnership), undertook a series of events to explore the relationship between our changing demography and public policy.

This was the final event in the Population Patterns Seminar Series and it explored the “silver separators”- divorce later in life. Figures from the Office for National Statistics published in 2012 showed a huge rise in the divorce rate amongst those in their 60s, with an increase of 58% on the 2011 figure. The last 10 years have seen more and more older people part ways, despite divorce amongst the general population becoming less common. This has happened to such an extent that the over 60’s are now the fastest growing divorce group in the UK.

A variety of reasons have been suggested , including a reduction in the stigma surrounding divorce and couples no longer feeling obliged to stay together if their attitudes and needs change.

However, figures released by the ONS in June 2012 revealed that marriages involving older people were also rising faster than for other age groups – up by 21% for women and by 25% for men in their late sixties. Re-partnership is likely to be even higher than these figures suggest, as older people in a new relationship may not choose to remarry.

During the event the discussion explored a number of themes, including:

  • What factors have contributed to the rising rate of divorce amongst the over 60s?
  • How can older people’s relationships be better supported?
  • What challenges does ageing present to relationships?
  • How do care responsibilities effect relationships?
  • What are the potential ramifications of older couples separating?

Agenda for the event

15:30 - 16:00

16:00 - 10:05
Welcome from:
Baroness Sally Greengross (ILC-UK)

16:05 - 16:55
Presentations from:
Richard Willets (Partnership)
Rt Hon Paul Burstow MP (Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam)
Ben Franklin (ILC-UK)
Chris Sherwood (Relate)
Barbara Bloomfield (Co-author of ‘The Mature Times Guide to Love and Relationships in Later Life’)

16:55 - 17:55
Discussion and Q&A

17:55 - 18:00
Close from:
Baroness Sally Greengross

Presentation slides from the event:

Communities and Housing,Future of Age,Health,International,Pensions

Wednesday 5th November 2014; European and Economic and Social Committee, TRE 7701, 7th floor, Trèves Building, 74 rue de Trèves, 1040 Brussels; 14:00 (for 14:30 start) – 17:00

This event was kindly hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).

Throughout 2014, ILC-UK, supported by specialist insurer, Partnership Assurance Group plc (Partnership), has been undertaking a series of events to explore the relationship between our changing demography and public policy.

This event, as part of the Population Patterns Seminar Series, explored Europe’s ageing demography. Europe is currently facing unprecedented changes - by 2050 it is predicted that more than a third of the European population will be over 60 years old as a result of rising life expectancies and low birth rates.

These changes pose major economic, budgetary and social challenges. In the EU, age related spending is projected to rise from an annual cost of 25% to 29% of GDP between 2010 and 2060. At the same time, there are set to be far fewer people of working age to support European ageing populations- by 2060 the dependency ratio is predicted to drop to under two working-age people for every person aged over 65.

At this event we aimed to inform further this critical debate by launching our first ‘European Factpack’ of demographic statistics. This Factpack provided statistics on a range of topics from life expectancy to housing supply, and pensions to the use of new technologies amongst today’s older generations. The ‘European Factpack’ builds on our UK Factpack initiative, by providing the public, private and third sectors with the most up-to-date information on Europe’s changing demography.

During the discussion we explored:

  • What are the ramifications of Europe’s changing demography, both for individual countries and Europe as a whole?
  • What policy changes will need to be enacted to ensure Europe’s economic sustainability?
  • How the public, private and third sectors react to findings of the ‘European Factpack’?
  • Which areas of the Factpack might be expanded to help policy-makers, journalists and opinion formers?

This event was chaired by Lawrence Churchill, ILC-UK Trustee. Confirmed speakers inlcuded: Fritz von Nordheim (European Commission), Jean Lambert (MEP), Maciej Kucharczyk (Age Platform Europe), Andrew Rear (Munich Re), Maureen O'Neill (European Economic and Social Committee) and Richard Willets (Partnership).

Slides from the event are available below:

The slides presented by Fritz Von Nordheim are available here.


Fritz Von Nordheim ILC-UK 5 Nov 2014



Communities and Housing,Dementia

Tuesday, 28th October 2014; 09:30 - 12:30; London Fire Brigade Headquarters, 169 Union Street, London, SE1 0LL

Electrical Safety First, in collaboration with ILC-UK, were delighted to hold an evidence session into ‘Electrical Safety in an Ageing Society’, which was hosted at the London Fire Brigade Headquarters.

The event was chaired by Sue Adams OBE, Chief Executive of Care and Repair England, and also included speakers from local government, industry and the charity sector. Our audience heard from expert witnesses with a specific focus on housing and dementia, with an opportunity for a Q&A with the panel.

Topics covered by evidence givers included: the current condition of housing for older people in England; future trends in the housing profiles of older people; the role of assistive technology in creating a safer environment for people with dementia; and the advantages of enabling people with dementia to remain in their own homes for longer. This evidence session will be used to help form a report reviewing the current evidence base, and setting out a blueprint for future work in this area by providing recommendations for key policy makers.

Electrical Safety First is the UK charity dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents. They are recognised by government and industry as the leading campaigning charity and technical authority on electrical safety.

If you would like more information about the inquiry, on either the topic of dementia and electrical safety or housing and electrical safety, please contact George Holley-Moore at

Communities and Housing,Equality and Human Rights,Health,Pensions,Work and Retirement

ILC-UK are currently planning our activities at the 2014 Political Party Conferences. We hope to run a series of events on topics as diverse as pensions, health, employment, care and communities as part of the main party conference fringe programme.

If you are interested in talking to us about sponsoring a fringe event, please do get in touch with David Sinclair or Jessica Watson ( / / 0207 340 0440).

We are also planning our 2014-2015 events programme. We organise 30+ events a year, from small discussion events, through to larger conferences. Our events always “sell out”, and often, very quickly. If you are interested in talking to us about sponsoring an event, please get in touch with David Sinclair or Lyndsey Mitchell at ILC-UK ( / 0207 340 0440).

The International Longevity Centre-UK is the leading think tank on longevity and demographic change. It is an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to addressing issues of longevity, ageing and population change.

Communities and Housing,Pensions,Quality of Life

Thursday 12th June; Committee Room G, House of Lords, Westminster, London; 08:30 (for a 09:00 start) – 11:00
Coffee and light refreshments will be served from 08:30.

Entry to Committee Room G is through the Cromwell Green (Visitor) Entrance. As queues and waiting times at this entrance can be unpredictable, we recommend that you arrive at the House of Lords as close to 08:00 as possible.

Many older people have equity tied up in their homes that could be used to provide them with a greater income in later life and improve their standard of living. Traditionally, the ways to unlock the equity in people’s homes have been through downsizing, equity release lifetime loans or home reversion plans. However, not everyone is in a position to downsize, there are pros and cons to each approach, and all have associated costs.

The Equity Bank would provide a new way for people to unlock the equity in their home. It would be a state agency which provides people with a low cost fixed lifetime income in exchange for a fixed share of the equity in their home. The Equity Bank would take a charge on the person’s home and recover the value of the equity from the person’s estate after their death.

The event was chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the ILC-UK. Nick Kirwan, Director of the ILC-UK Care Funding Advice Network, opened the discussion. Professor Les Mayhew of Cass Business School and co-author of the paper 'The UK Equity Bank - Towards income security in old age' thened present the concept, after which Paul Burstow MP responded.  There was then time for questions and a general discussion.

The presentation slides from the event are available to view below:

Communities and Housing

ILC-UK and Age UK are holding a series of research and policy seminars which will explore how our communities need to adapt to an ageing society.  The series will focus on action needed by policymakers today to meet the future challenges and maximise the opportunities our ageing society presents. All three of the discussion seminars will explore issues related to the broader research and policy discussions on age friendly communities.

‘Getting out and about’
Tuesday 11 March 2014, 14.00 – 17.30
This seminar focusses on issues of transport, the built and social environments including crime and their impact on getting older in local communities.  

‘At home’
Thursday 27 March 2014, 14.00 – 17.30
This seminar focusses on the current evidence as to how our home is currently influencing our ability to engage in the community, including the role for housing design and planning, care in the community and assistive technologies to support this.  

'Ensuring communities offer what older people want’
Thursday 10 April 2014, 14.00 – 17.30
This seminar focusses on the activities and interests of older people that need to be represented in our communities to ensure good quality of life and wellbeing for an ageing population.

Following the seminars, ILC-UK will organise a major event in early May to present the findings of the project for over 100 researchers, policymakers, journalists and opinion-formers.

If you would like to attend any of these events, please email including the title of the event in your message. Please also let us know if know if you are involved in any research we should incorporate into our series.

Communities and Housing,Future of Age,Transport

Thursday, 8 May 2014 from 09:15 for 09:45 to 15:30

Emmerson/Shears Conference Room
8 Fitzroy Street
London W1T 4BQ

As the population ages, an increasing number of people will be growing older and continuing to live in communities around the country. Many of our communities are ill-prepared for both the varying needs of older people ageing in place and the future increase in numbers of older people who will need appropriate housing, transport and services. The local elections in May also bring these issues into focus for elected representatives who will be seeking to prepare their areas for these challenges and give the best opportunities for good ageing to their constituents.

At this event we heard results of a series of three solutions-focussed policy discussions held by ILC-UK and Age UK. These discussions have looked at three distinct aspects of communities – from living at home, to getting out and about and the activities and amenities available (or missing) in our communities. We will be discussing a forthcoming report summarising the fresh thinking and practical suggestions for policy makers, local government and community groups gathered from these sessions.

The conference also included sessions on research and information on this topic, and what needs to be done to take action in our communities. All sessions will feature opportunities for attendees to participate in the discussion and add their views on where priorities for action should be focussed.

Agenda from the event:

Welcome - Malcolm Dean (Chair)
Welcome - Caroline Abrahams; Charity Director, Age UK
Scene Setting - Are we ready for ageing? - Baroness Tyler; Member of Lords Committee on Public Services and Demographic Change
Community Matters – are our communities ready for ageing? - Jessica Watson; Policy and Communications Manager, ILC-UK
Open Discussion

Refreshement Break

Improving Later Life - Susan Davidson; Research Adviser, Age UK
Community Matters : are our communities ready for ageing? - Professor Sheila Peace; Professor of Gerontology, Open University and President Elect of the British Society of Gerontology
Open Discussion


Welcome back - David Sinclair; Assistant Director Policy and Communications, ILC-UK (Chair)
Neighbourhood approaches to loneliness. The tale of two cities. - Tracey Robbins; Programme Manager, Neighbourhood approaches to loneliness, JRF
Wellbeing and Interdependence through Assisted Living - Pam Turpin; Senior Research Analyst, Arup
Taking action– in the voluntary sector - Lynne Berry; Commission on Voluntary Sector and Ageing
Taking action – involving older people - Dr Alan Burnett; Chair, Portsmouth Pensioners Association
Open Discussion - what should be the priorities for action?
Taking action – the Centre for Ageing Better - Cheryl Coppell; Chief Executive, Havering Council / Centre for Ageing Better


The presentation slides from the event can be viewed below:

Communities and Housing,Future of Age,Quality of Life

Thursday, 10th April 2014, 13:30 (for 14:00) – 17:00, London

This was the third seminar in a series of three exploring ‘Community Matters: are our communities ready for ageing?’ from ILC-UK and Age UK.

The topic was ‘Ensuring communities offer what older people want’, and focussed on the activities and interests of older people that need to be represented in our communities to ensure good quality of life and wellbeing for an ageing population. The results of these seminars will inform a solutions-focussed policy brief, looking at what needs to be done to create age-ready local areas. This brief will be launched in May at a full day conference on ageing in our communities.

In this seminar we considered what communities provide for older people and how these needs may change (or stay the same) as they age. We know from research on isolation and loneliness that social connections remain an important part of quality of life for many people as they get older, yet as the ‘loneliness epidemic’ continues to hit headlines it is clear that this is not being fully addressed in communities. Exploring how activities and services can maintain and build on social networks is key to maintaining wellbeing within the community.

Elsewhere, we explored the services, amenities and activities available to older people in their communities – from village shops, to post offices, to libraries and adult education classes, and how these enhance wellbeing for older people. A community can take many forms, and in this session we will also be considering the approaches to be taken from different kinds of setting – from urban to rural – and the challenges that lie in providing services to these distinct regions.

This seminar explored:

  • How family connections, friendships and social ties can be supported and better integrated into community activities.
  • What role do local services and shops play in building a community, what the future of these services looks like and what can be done to ensure they support ageing in the community?
  • What activities are currently available for older people in their communities, and are these suitable or prepared for an increasing number of people accessing them? What else should be available?
  • How we can ensure that fun and playfulness remain part of life when growing older in the community?
  • How can we ensure that the experience of growing older remains at its highest quality across rural, town, suburban, and urban settings?

This was an invite only event.

The presentation slides from the event can be viewed below:

More information on the first seminar in the series can be found here: Community Matters: are our communities ready for ageing: Getting out and about

More information on the second seminar in the series can be found here: Community Matters: are our communities ready for ageing. At home

Communities and Housing,International

March 28/29 2011, Church House, Westminster, London, 28 March 2011

Economic and Social Research Council/Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science/International Longevity Centre

The aim of the Symposium was to examine the impact of demographic change on major cities in Japan and the UK, many of whom will have populations of 30 per cent or more aged 60 and over by 2020. The ageing of urban populations will present a major challenge for areas such as: transportation; technology; design and planning; housing; and the organisation of health and social care. The Symposium will bring together researchers and policy makers from both countries involved in developing new approaches to improving the quality of life of older people living in urban environments. The Symposium drew upon case studies from the World Health Organisation's 'Age Friendly Cities' programme which has active involvement from cities in Japan and the UK:

The Symposium was organised around four main themes:

  • State of the art reviews of research in Japan and the UK on urbanisation and ageing populations
  • Case studies of initiatives designed to improve the 'age friendliness' of urban environments
  • Assessment of the main policy challenges around urbanisation and ageing.
  • Potential research collaborations between Japan and the UK on ageing and the urban environment (workshops).

Location: Church House Conference Centre, London

If you are interested in further information about this event please contact

Communities and Housing

Arup, 8 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 4BQ, 16:00, 29 November 2010

A debate exploring the impact of the new Localism Bill on lifetime neighbourhoods and older people in the community.

Kindly supported by Anchor and Audley

For many years, advocates of empowerment and engagement have argued that decision making should be as local as possible. Advocates argue that localising economic and democratic relationships to the local level will make it easier to define and solve economic, social and environmental problems.

Following the election of the new Government in May 2010, the Queen’s Speech revealed plans to introduce a Decentralisation and Localism Bill. The Bill seeks to “empower local people; free local government from central and regional control; give local communities a real share in local growth; and introduce a more efficient and more local planning system”.

But with the new Bill comes the abolition of a large number of regional bodies and strategies in England, many of which (such as spatial strategies and housing strategies) have played a role in ensuring that community decision makers do consider the impact of an ageing society. At a local level there is a risk of NIMBYism resulting in unpopular but important policies and services being lost.

Since the Government published Lifetime Neigbourhoods, there has been further research on how best to design neigbourhoods and housing to meet the needs of an ageing society. Professor Elizabeth Burton will open the debate with a discussion and presentation of the findings of the IDGO2 research project.

This debate explored

  • The latest thinking in terms of community design for an ageing society
  • The potential for delivering lifetime neigbourhoods under localism.
  • How the housing needs of an older population can be met under a more devolved decision making process.
  • The benefits and costs of more localism in decision making in the context of the housing and community needs of an older population
  • How the community needs of older people can be best met under a more localised decision making structure
  • How policy makers should deliver localism in a way which benefits all generations and delivers sustainable and engaged communities.
  • Where next for housing and communities policy for older people?

Professor Elizabeth Burton presented the findings of IDGO 2 (inclusive design for getting outdoors). Speakers at the debate included: Jane Ashcroft (Anchor); Nick Sanderson (Audley); Sue Adams (Care and Repair England); Gemma Bradshaw, (Age UK); and Julian Dobson (NS +).

Agenda from the event:

16.00 – 16.30
Registration and refreshments
16:30 – 16.35
Welcome from ARUP
16.35 - 16.40
Introduction from the Chair
16.40 – 17.00
Professor Elizabeth Burton
17.00 – 17.40
Panel introductions (8 minutes each to introduce views)
17.40 – 18.25
Panel debate
18.25 - 18.30
Concluding remarks from Chair
Close and drinks

Communities and Housing

Arup, 8 Fitzroy Street, London, W1T 4BJ, 16:30, 01 April 2009

A debate exploring how the ‘lifetime neighbourhoods’ agenda for well-being and the built environment should respond to the current economic turmoil, particularly that affecting the building industry.

We are very grateful to Arup for making this event possible, and for support from the Housing Learning and Improvement Network.

The lifetime neighbourhoods agenda has emerged in recent years through growing recognition of the interlocking roles of the built environment, infrastructure, housing, services and space in determining quality of life. Lifetime neighbourhoods are those that “offer the best possible chance of health, wellbeing, and social, economic and civic engagement regardless of age”.

This agenda went mainstream last year with the publication of the Government’s National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society, which saw the principles of lifetime neighbourhoods applied to specific policy levers and targets.

However, since this highpoint, the growing financial crisis has frozen many of the economic drivers for construction and development, crippling many of the housing and regeneration policy levers that are essential to making the lifetime neighbourhoods agenda a reality.

This debate brought together key experts and stakeholders to map the future for the lifetime neighbourhoods agenda, and explore the questions:

  • What is the current state of development, housing construction and regeneration?
  • How are planners responding to the current crisis in their role as long-term ‘strategic enablers’ who integrate individual developments and proposals into a vision for communities?
  • What is the future of the lifetime neighbourhoods agenda?

Agenda from the event:

16.00 - 16.30
Registration and Tea
16.30 - 16.35
Welcome by Volker Busher, Director, ARUP
16.35 - 16:40
Introduction by Chair, Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive, ILC-UK
16.40 - 16.50
Presentation by Ed Harding, ILC-UK
16.50 - 17.30
Panel Contributions:

  • David Ward, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Sarah Davis, Chartered Institute of Housing
  • Natasha Thomas, McCarthy & Stone
  • Representative from Help the Aged
  • Representative from Town and Country Planning Association

17.30 - 18.25
Audience Discussion
18.25 - 18.30
Summary by Chair
Close and Drinks

This event was free and open to all; however, registration was required.

Communities and Housing

Admiralty House, 26 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2WH, 17:00, 19 November 2007

An event to launch a new discussion paper called 'Towards Lifetime Neighbourhoods: Designing Sustainable Communities For All.

This event was organised jointly by the ILC-UK and Communities & Local Government to launch a new discussion paper considering the issue of 'lifetime neighbourhoods' and how we could better plan for them.

The paper explores how a more age-friendly vision of public spaces and community could boost social engagement, good health and the chances of 'active ageing' for all. This includes how the built environment could offer a more accessible, inclusive space for the frail or disabled, but looks further into what role services, amenities, social cohesion and sense of place play in the creation of 'lifetime neighbourhoods', and how they might interact to create communities that maximise health, wellbeing and social engagement.

Given the challenges of an ageing population, understanding how the built environment affects quality of life for older people is clearly a major issue for concern. It is clear that many of our communities are ill-prepared for future demographic change and are already failing older people today; according to Help the Aged, some one million older people report feeling trapped in their own homes, and approximately one third of older people leave their homes on average only twice a week.

The discussion paper was launched in conjunction with Communities and Local Government to promote public debate, in anticipation of the forthcoming National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society.

The event was chaired by Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive at the ILC-UK. Speakers at the event included:

  • Baroness Andrews, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government
  • Ed Harding, Senior Researcher, ILC-UK and author of the paper
  • Gideon Amos, Chief Executive, Town and Country Planning Association
  • Paul Cann, Director of Policy, Help the Aged; and
  • Deborah Heeney, Strategy Director, Berkeley Group.
Communities and Housing

The Abbey Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, Westminster, SW1P 3BU, 15:00, 22 May 2007

Is there a problem and should Government respond?

Remaining in your own home until you choose to move is a right that most people take for granted. Given the emotional ties and personal histories of most family homes, it is not surprising that many older people choose to remain in large homes long after their children have moved out.

So-called 'under-occupancy' is a complex and emotive issue for policy-makers. Given the shortage of affordable family homes, should we try to incentivise older homeowners to downsize and release larger houses to younger families? Or is the concept a blatantly ageist one that assumes older people have less right than others to choose their housing and neighbourhood?

While under-occupancy is an everyday concern for local authority planners, the Government has simultaneously set itself the objective of enabling older people to remain independent in their own home for as long as possible. The Government and the financial sector are also interested in developing the market for equity release products, particularly as a source of funding for social care, potentially further disincentivising downsizing.

This debate explored the following questions:

  • How can we define 'under-occupancy', and if a problem exists, how big is it?
  • Is 'under-occupancy' an age-exclusive issue, or in light of the housing crisis affecting younger families, should we regard all 'under-occupancy', including by the wealthy and second-home owners, as a moral issue?
  • Will downsizing always be a purely needs-driven process, or could it be encouraged through the building of more suitable and smaller homes for older people?
  • Is there a conflict in Government policy between addressing the pressures of housing demand, and the 'staying-put' independence agenda?

The panellists at this debate were:

  • Ed Harding, ILC-UK
  • Professor Dave King, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Gillian Connor, Housing & Communities Policy Adviser, Age Concern
  • Mark Thomas, Head of Policy, Shelter

Download a copy of 'Older People’s Housing and Under-occupancy' here.

Communities and Housing,Health,Nutrition and Hydration

Stranger's Dining Room, House of Commons, Westminster, 16:00, 17 May 2006

The majority of malnutrition occurs in the community; older people are at particular risk and much of malnutrition is preventable.

The European Nutrition for Health Alliance, BAPEN - British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and the International Longevity Centre–UK, in conjunction with the All Parliamentary Food and Health Forum, consulted a wide range of stakeholders to produce ‘Malnutrition among Older People in the Community: Policy Recommendations for Change’.

This report is intended as a Call to Action to UK policymakers across health, social and community care.

A reception, hosted by Lord Soley of Hammersmith on behalf of the European Nutrition for Health Alliance, was held at this launch of the final report.