A century of living longer and living well
For 100 years, the Whiteley Homes Trust has helped older people of limited means to live better and, on average, longer than they would have done outside Whiteley Village. Good quality almshouses and a vibrant community, with care and support from family, friends, volunteers, and professionals have all contributed to our success.
Today people are living longer than ever before. Increasing frailty means that older people are often less mobile and more dependent on others to support and care for them. Commentators often see the country’s ageing population as a burden rather than an asset – particularly a burden on public services struggling to meet increasing demands.
Following our centenary year (2017) the Trust is ambitious for the next 100 years. We are launching a major development programme to increase the number of beneficiaries and to build new almshouses with technically advanced facilities so we can support and care for people where they choose to be: in their own homes.
But we want to go further still. Most research about ageing focuses on health and care. Yet that is only one aspect of ageing, ignoring everyday life. How do people’s preferences and priorities change as they age? What does it mean to enjoy the added years of life to the full? What choices are most important to older people? What do they value most from people who want to help them? What makes them feel valued in society?
Whiteley’s century of experience gives us many clues, and a unique base for research and experimentation. We are therefore launching the Whiteley Foundation for Ageing Well to engage with others who share our interest. They will be thought-leaders, people working with older people in many different fields, and older people themselves. They could be businesses providing technology and other aids and services. In fact, anyone keen that longer life should be better life, too.