Report suggests associations could play key part in supporting residents.
Housing associations are an “untapped resource” which could help health and care services engage better with elderly people, a new report has concluded.
The report, from housing association Hanover Scotland, highlights the importance of housing and communities to people’s mental health and emotional needs.
It found that home was a fundamental aspect of wellbeing, and a key to the provision of health and social care.
This led the authors to conclude that any service engaging with older people must consider their communities and local environment, and, where possible, integrate support with pre-existing networks such as housing associations.
The report states: “Housing organisations are an untapped resource without which it will be more difficult for IJBs to achieve better health and social care outcomes as outlined by Audit Scotland.
“It is essential that housing organisations be offered the opportunity to be fully included in the ongoing integration of health and social care.”
Hanover believes the methodology and findings of its research could provide a template for use in health and social care, and is now calling for housing organisations to be more closely involved in the process in future.
Helen Murdoch, Hanover Scotland chief executive, said: “Housing organisations are the gateway through which health and social care bodies can provide outcomes to help people live the lives they want.
“For 40 years, Hanover Scotland has pioneered progressive models of housing and care that support older people to enjoy full and active lives and I am very proud that our team was able to undertake this research throughout our anniversary year. It has taken us across Scotland to speak to people and to a global conference where we were invited to share some of our early findings.”
“What our detailed discussions with our residents have given us is a deep understanding of what kind of service they want from us and how we can go about doing that. As a result, this research is going to shape Hanover’s services for years to come.
“We do not pretend to have all the answers but it seems clear to me that were housing organisations included more closely in the integration of health and social care in the future, we could use this kind of model to improve engagement with local communities and deliver better, more effective services across the country.”