Communities and Local Government contributes to local projects to support the social interaction of elderly people living alone in a variety of ways, including through housing and related support services. For example, the Supporting People Programme, created in 2003, which is a grant programme administered through top tier local authorities, helps over 840,000 older people through housing support services to live independently in their home and community. Together, local authorities spent over £300 million on housing support services for older people in 2006-07.
We recently published “Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods—A National Strategy? for Housing in an Ageing Society” which promotes improved social inclusion and participation of older people through better housing in age friendly communities. This includes the promotion of Lifetime Homes and Neighbourhoods, better home repairs and adaptations services. Additional funding of £33 million between 2008-10 will go to support local agencies, such as Home Improvement Agencies, to help older people with minor repairs and adaptations. Good practice examples included in this strategy show how these and other agencies can provide a vital link to help people to access other support services to increase participation in the community.