Housing refers to an individual's dwelling, living conditions or accommodation which is often subject to the environmental factors in which the person lives (Barton and et. al., 2015). Environmental factors can be temporary or permanent. Also, they may be part of internal (immediate housing or accommodation) or external environment (locality, community, neighbourhood or place). Well being of an individual is generally concerned with the quality of life that a person experiences. It demands that the basic needs of personnel is met and they are free from various kinds of disabilities. People who are getting old and frail can also strive to lead a healthy life provided that the housing facilities are appropriate to meet needs of people. This article gains an insight into a community of homeless people It assesses the effectiveness of interventions as well as strategies associated with housing needs which promote health and well-being.
Understanding Environment, Housing, Health and Well being
Health and well being of an individual is a prime need in today's world for the person to sustain for a long time. Housing comprises of positive as well as negative impacts upon physical, mental, social and emotional well being of a person. Thus, it is essential that housing needs of individual are considered at all the times. For instance: Infants and young children require an environment which can facilitate their effective growth and lead to timely emotional and physical development of their body (Bradley, 2015). School going children require adequate space and privacy for their development. Old aged people spend a lot of time at home and thus, they require extra security and heating facilities to have access to a comfortable environment. Everyone need a safe and secure accommodation or dwelling to live. People with disabilities need to have access to substantial facilities as well as additional care. This is a pre-requisite for them to be able to enjoy a safe and secure living. Old people possess disabilities like dementia, Alzheimer, obesity, Osteoporosis, Arthritis etc. and need a proper environment where there is not any more possibility of getting a disease or disorder.
Living within a hygienic environment in decent housing and accommodation ensures the access to a sustainable lifestyle. This helps in ensuring a quality standard of living and develops a route for access to health and social care services, education, food shops, leisure centres and many more of such consumer facilities. On the other hand, poor accommodation facilities or unfavourable living environment increases the possibility of individuals getting prone to unsecure conditions. The facilitating and adverse effects of housing and the local environment is experienced by individuals both at macro as well as micro level (Grigsby, 2017). For instance, energy insulation may act as a pros or con for an individual householder. However, regeneration of area may affect a wider neighbourhood or community. While when government gives any policy upon housing and its environment, it has a large effect on housing supply and demand of the whole place.
(Source: Four Dimensions of Housing, 2019
Relationships between housing facilities, health and well-being
Poor Quality Housing
This implies the need of repair as there are health and safety risks due to the presence of poor facilities like leaking roof, damp or no water supply
Frequent Movers (inclusive of Asylum Seekers)
Alienation, loneliness, isolation and disruption of routine life by restraining access to essential amenities leads to stress and depression among individuals and often cause complex and chaotic living.
This has a detrimental impact on development of child and also leads to issues related to emotional and physical health of adults.
Damp as well as cold housing
This is a sort of poor housing often due to low income of individuals and inadequate heating and insulation facilities which lead to stress, respiratory diseases, discomfort, hypothermia among adults.
Quality of Air and presence of Pollutants
Poor quality air have detrimental impacts upon health of children and adults and may even cause death of individuals. At times, it even cause carbon monoxide poisoning and asbestos due to the existence of pollutants in air (Bradshaw, 2016).
This has a major impact upon physical health and increases the risks of infectious diseases like tuberculosis (TB). It even leads to issues related to privacy and enhance the risk of decreased educational attainment.
Noise by way of air, rail and road traffic or nearby dwellings can cause or even increase the existing level of tension, stress and depression among adults (Vasara, 2015).
This may have a huge impact upon social and physical health of individuals.
Why does older people's housing and well being needs matter?
Everyone needs access to a healthy, secure, decent and affordable housing. Yet, at different stages of one's life, an individual has varying needs in relation to housing and well being. Older people need access to comfortable as well as easy housing facilities such that they can live a quality life. It implies a healthy as well as active lifestyle for old age people. On the contrary, it is often observed that these individuals are prone to poor, inadequate or inaccessible dwelling which does not possess the potential to meet the housing needs of older people.
Getting housing right for older people could have immense benefits for society and the economy. Although there are positive initiatives in mainstream and specialist housing, they are not enough to respond to the rapidly expanding population of older people, in a way that significantly extends the options available.
Current reforms to the care system offer an opportunity to encourage better ways of integrating housing with flexible forms of care and support. But we still need to get the basics right. For many older people, it is too difficult to get simple home adaptations or repairs carried out quickly and affordably. We are not building enough of the right type of retirement housing to tempt older people who might wish to downsize. Many of the options that do exist are only available to a relatively small section of the older population.
This report outlines some of the challenges and opportunities for older people’s housing with recommendations for action. One key action is to make sure that older people themselves are at the forefront of the housing debate. Offering control, independence and housing solutions that fit with changing lifestyles and aspirations is essential. To help do that, we need to deal with the risks and unpredictability that often undermine new housing developments.
As this report makes clear, there isn’t one simple solution that will suit everyone. Older people want a range of choices and the vast majority will continue to look towards mainstream housing solutions. Tackling some of the barriers discussed in this report would dramatically increase the quality and diversity of provision. Offering housing choices that appeal to new generations of older people will contribute to improving the availability of housing for everyone. The Government is right to promote a range of different options, but these options require long-term investment from both the private and public sectors.
Barton, H., and et. al., 2015. The Routledge handbook of planning for health and well-being: Shaping a sustainable and healthy future. Routledge.
Bradley, R. H., 2015. Children's housing and physical environments. Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science. pp.1-38.
Bradshaw, J. ed., 2016. The Well-being of Children in the UK. Policy Press.
Grigsby, W. G., 2017. Urban housing policy. Routledge.
Vasara, P., 2015. Not ageing in place: Negotiating meanings of residency in age-related housing. Journal of aging studies. 35. pp.55-64.
Colic-Peisker, V., Ong, R. and Wood, G., 2015. Asset poverty, precarious housing and ontological security in older age: an Australian case study. International Journal of Housing Policy. 15(2). pp.167-186.
Easterlow, D. and Smith, S. J., 2017. Housing policy and health in Britain. In Housing and Health. (pp. 1-16). CRC Press.
Gitlin, L. N., 2017. The impact of housing on quality of life: Does the home environment matter now and into the future?. In New Dynamics in Old Age. (pp. 105-126). Routledge.
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