Housing options

Depending on which survey you look at, either no-one wants to move as they get older or most people would if they knew what was available. Whichever is true, starting a conversation about moving in later life can be a tricky one for caseworkers and occupational therapists. Even where there is interest in moving there is often a reluctance to engage for fear of being “put into a home”.

I’ve seen other housing options tools. They tend to ask lots of questions but don’t really address the main issue: Should I stay?

Should I Stay?

One day on the train home I started thinking about alternatives. I’ve previously commissioned extra care housing so have some knowledge of the push and pull factors involved, and started looking into decision-making tools. A quick google search later and I found the pugh matrix. It was at this point I realised that I had been too engrossed, missed my station and the next stop was London! On the bright side, it did give me another few hours to develop the idea and by the time I got home, I had a working prototype as a spreadsheet.

Foundations Independent Living Trust has a long-standing partnership with Taylor Wimpey. They make charitable donations to assist the home improvement agency sector and the people it supports. So using a little bit of that funding I commissioned an online version for wider testing – and that’s now available at www.shouldistay.co.uk.

Deciding Key Issues

On the first page, they list the different options that you want to compare. It might be extra care housing, moving in with family or downsizing to a smaller house – whatever suits the person. The second page has a list of the 10 key issues to consider. Talk through each and decide on a scale of 0 to 10 how important each one is.

Finally, for each of your options, they decide for each key issue whether moving would be better, worse or the same as staying where they are now. Based on all of that, the tool then ranks the options and gives the best option – whether they should stay, or consider moving.

Please give it a try, and let us know what you think. Does it help with those difficult conversations? Is there anything we could make better.