New service provides moving experience for older people.

A new service is being launched to provide practical help, advice, information and support to older people who are living in housing that doesn’t suit their needs anymore.

The new Older Persons’ Housing Advice Service is a partnership between the Bridgewater Housing Association Ltd and Renfrewshire Council.

It is aimed at local people who are aged 60 year or over who are finding their current home difficult to manage and who are thinking about moving home.

The initiative provides specialist advice and support on the housing options available. It aims to help older people find the best way to live independently for as long as possible.

The service offers one-to-one advice to people in the comfort of their own homes. It covers a range of housing options including; moving home, properties for older people like sheltered housing, support services and how to adapt the home to make it more suitable.

Staff from the service can help individuals reach a decision about their possible future housing and then provide the necessary practical help to put their decision into practice. This might be applying to get their existing home adapted to make it easier to live in, accessing care and support and even practical help and assistance with moving to a more suitable property.

The service is open to people who own their own homes as well as people who rent them.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said, “Increasingly, older people may find themselves in a position where they either want to or need to start thinking about their housing options. But this can be very stressful for older people, particularly for those who don’t have any family living nearby to help. It can be hard even just finding out about possible alternatives, let alone thinking about organising a move.

“This is where the Older Persons’ Housing Advice Service can help. Having someone impartial to talk through the pros and cons of possible housing alternatives and to help sort out the practicalities takes the strain from older people. It can help people make positive choices about their where they live.”

Mrs Maria Collins, 84, recently used the service and it helped her move from her home into sheltered accommodation. She said, “I didn’t feel safe in the house I was in. I was on my own after my husband died. I’d also had a few falls. It really was very bad and it was driving me daft.

“Becki (Becki Breakwell, Older Persons’ Housing Advice Worker with the Bridgewater Housing Association) got me all the names of the sheltered accommodation and helped me apply. When a place came up she told me all about it. She was really very good. She helped me with all the forms and she helped me in every way.”

Becki Breakwell, Older Persons’ Housing Advice Worker with the Bridgewater Housing Association, said, “The ultimate outcome of the Older Person’s Housing Advice Service will be better housed older people, relieved of the worry and stress which living in an unfit, unsuitable home brings, plus a reduced health risk for those who are living in a home ill adapted to their needs. Perhaps most importantly, the service will give older people the right information to enable them to take control of their housing situation and make their own decisions about their future, prior to a crisis when the matter could be taken out of their hands.”

The Older Persons’ Housing Advice Service is paid for through the Scottish Government’s Reshaping Care for Older People’s agenda.

More information is available by calling 0141 812 2237 or emailing