Two in three older Australians move home between the ages of 55 and 75, according to a report released by National Seniors.
The organisation’s CEO, said the report contradicted the common perception that older people like to stay put.
He described the findings as a “wake-up call” for policy makers, planners and developers.
“It is widely accepted that the majority of older adults prefer to live in the community rather than in residential aged care, however our general understanding of the housing preferences and choices of Australians in later life is underdeveloped,’’ said Mr O’Neill.
The report found that older adults are often forced to move or remain in the same home by factors beyond their control.
“For those over [the age of] 75, difficulties in maintaining the house or garden, or a decline in their partner’s health are paramount factors influencing their decision to move,” said Mr O’Neill.
“While those who make their homes more age-friendly are less likely to move, the reality is that modifications are not an option for everyone.”
According to National Seniors, there is a need for greater accommodation options for older people.
It wants governments to remove the financial barriers to downsizing, such as stamp duty, to make it easier for older people to move into ‘age friendly’ houses.
Ageing Minister, Justine Elliot welcomed the report, saying it demonstrated that older Australians are keen to maintain their independence.
“Suitable housing and access to services are important considerations for ageing in place, whether that place is the long-term family home or down-sized accommodation,” said Mrs Elliot.