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Silverville: What do you think?

Updated Friday, 17th July 2009

We really want to hear what you think about the complex choices involved in helping older people decide where they want to live - and where they're able to live. Here, Jonathan Hughes introduces some of the big questions - share your responses in the comments area.

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Throughout our lives, the places we live, the places we like to call ‘home’ are hugely important to us. This is not surprising if you consider how we use them. Our homes can be a refuge from the outside world. We find rest and recreation there, perhaps through television, reading or gardening. We are fed and kept warm in our homes. Our closest intimate relationships occur under these roofs.

As well as all this emotional investment, we make a huge financial investment in where we live. Whether we are used to paying rent or paying a mortgage, a significant part of our income is likely to be taken up. To this can be added the large sums of money spent on equipping and maintaining our homes - to say nothing of the demands of council tax water, gas and electricity bills.

Where we live can carry other costs too. Our close emotional ties with other people may become unhappy ones. Those ties may end through separation and bereavement, or they may change as family members grow up or move away. We might come to feel that what suited us well when we were in our 30s, 40s or 50s, no longer feels so comfortable. We may get to feel less and less "at home" in our own home.

As we get older there are many different ways of dealing with change. We might just ‘stay put’ and make the best of it. We might be able to respond to change by adapting how we use our home – perhaps through assistive technologies. We might look for more support to help us to remain at home. Some people, including the people living in the Silverville retirement village, choose to move to somewhere they think will better meet their needs.

This forum is an opportunity to share how you view your home and community. You might like to share how you are using your home to help manage change, or you might like just to say what you think are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a place like Silverville compared with where you live.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and reading about your experiences.

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