Time for different thinking: housing need, policy and practice for people living with dementia and older people in Scotland

Debbie Tolson*, Louise Ritchie, Michael Smith, Margaret Brown, Steven Tolson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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This paper aims to examine housing need for older people and people with dementia, with reference to Scotland. This paper also examines policy responses and tensions arising from such need and looks critically at the evidence of care needs and what older people want in relation to later life conditions, including dementia.

Taking the Being Home: Housing and Dementia in Scotland report (2017) as a baseline descriptor, the authors have collated evidence from a range of sources to help them examine what has changed in terms of policy, practice and population ageing. Set against this backdrop, using desk-based analytical methods, the authors interrogate existing planning processes and systems in Scotland.

Scottish Spatial Planning has a policy blindness on the overwhelming evidence of the housing needs derived from an ageing population. Policy focus is geared towards the amount of housing supplied, rather than appropriate types of housing, leaving older people with little choice of suitable accommodation. A key area to improve is in establishing greater co-operation and policy synthesis between health, social, housing and planning functions. Broad policy ambition must be transferred into detailed reality for older people and people with dementia to benefit.

The integrated approach and in-depth analysis, linked to planning policy and housing need, is highly original and much needed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalHousing, Care and Support
Early online date31 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2023


  • dementia
  • older people
  • housing
  • planning policy
  • care needs
  • later life
  • rights based


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