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December 19, 2012

Looking after each other

With current demographics, the challenge of meeting the long term social care needs of our elderly population is in the view of many, a ticking time bomb.  With the current system causing increasing levels of dissatisfaction, it’s no surprise that communities are beginning to design new, better solutions. A community in north Fife have been quietly developing expertise in this field for a decade.  We need more of this. And quickly.


SNP MSP Roderick Campbell lead a debate on the benefits of co-housing for older people in Scotland on 31 October 2012.

In his motion he cited some of the benefits as security and mutual support among peers, autonomy, people retaining control over their own circumstances, companionship instead of isolation, a sense of belonging and community and commitment and affordability through shared costs.

He announced to MSPs a new pilot project between the Vivarium Trust and Kingdom Housing Association which will build around 30 houses with residents deciding democratically what facilities they need.

Mr Campbell said in the current economic climate many housing options do not meet the needs of older people and he went on to say this model could offer a solution to many of Scotland’s pensioners.

Closing the debate for the Scottish government, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess welcomed the opportunity to discuss co-housing and said it was a model that should be looked at across the whole of Scotland.

To read more about the work of the Vivarium Trust click here