Housing options for older people

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for See advice for England, See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Wales

Many people find that they start to think more about where they live as they grow older. This page pulls together resources to help you consider your housing options. 

Your housing needs

Here are some questions to ask about your housing needs. Do you need:

  • support to make it easier for you to stay in your current home

  • repairs or adaptations to your home to be able to carry on living there comfortably

  • to move somewhere smaller that's easier to maintain

  • to move nearer to family and friends

  • to move in with family for company and support

  • to move to a home that's more accessible, eg a single-story bungalow

  • the support of sheltered housing

  • daily care in a care home setting.

In Scotland you can find some information about your housing options on the Age Scotland website or by phoning the Age Scotland Helpline on freephone 0800 12 44 222 Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm.

Help to move or buy from the Scottish Government

If you are over 60 years old and you need to buy a new house, you may be entitled to help from the Scottish Government's shared equity for older people schemes. This may be because:

  • you need to downsize to a smaller home

  • your home isn’t suitable for your needs anymore, perhaps you can’t manage the stairs

  • you need to move closer to family or friends for care and support.

You can find out more in Buying a home – help to buy a home schemes or on the Scottish government's website page on shared equity for older people schemes

Care homes

Care Information Scotland provides information for older people and their carers living in Scotland about options for receiving care at home, supported housing and care homes:

Care Information Scotland

Helpline: 0800 011 3200 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

Website: careinfoscotland.scot

People aged over 55 years and raising money from a home

Equity release is a way of using the value of your home to raise money. This could be in the form of an additional income, a cash lump sum, or both.

You can find out more about equity release on the Money Advice Service website. Money Advice Service is an independent service, set up by government to help people make the most of their money.

The Money Advice Service gives you information on how the different types of equity release scheme work and what you should expect from firms that sell them.

There is more information on equity release on the MoneyHelper website