The introduction sets out the importance of considering the housing needs of older people and the powerful part housing plays in maintaining quality of life. In the UK poor housing is thought to cost the National Health Service (NHS) an estimated £1.4 billion per annum, of which nearly half is attributed to poor housing among older adults. Furthermore, the text introduces the vital role of built environment professionals in designing and developing good-quality housing. Readers are advised that a primary motivation behind this book is to offer an architectural ‘insider’ view on the designed environments of retirement housing; to take readers inside the sector and to share insights for the betterment of its design processes and products. The introduction thus prepares readers for a deep dive into retirement-living apartments – for independent older consumers – and the particular contribution they make to widening choice within the UK housing sector. Well-designed developments can create micro communities that help to mitigate potential social isolation or loneliness in older age, as well as contribute to financial gain towards the NHS by enabling older people to successfully age in place for longer. The closing sections of the introduction provide commentary on research methods, storytelling and the book’s structure.
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