Imagine a society where your house is truly your home. A supportive, enabling environment that helps you realize your full personal and social potential. Imagine a society where such houses are within reach for Europeans of all ages, regardless of income, gender, race or ethnic background, sexual orientation, health status, or disability. This is the vision Homes4Life supports for 2040.
Our homes are more than just four walls and a roof. They are the places where we spend most of our time – up to 80% of our days and nights – when we reach 80 years of age. They are our familiar surroundings, intimately tied to our personal history and identity; the familiar surroundings where we want to keep living for as long as we possibly can. Our homes help us to be independent and in control of our lives; support us to remain active and healthy; keep us socially connected and engaged with our environment and community; and evolve with us as our lifestyle choices and needs change with the passing of the years.
If our homes do just that across the life course we consider them to be age-friendly. Age- friendly housing is therefore relevant for all citizens and has a tremendous influence on our health and wellbeing, our social interactions and our capacity to participate in community life. Thus, age-friendly housing must become a key public policy based on three elements:
- All relevant stakeholders must be aware of the issues,
- Appropriate tools and policy frameworks should be in place, and
- All stakeholders need incentives appropriate to their needs and concerns.