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4/5. In 1900 about 4% of the population was aged over 65 - now it is over 20%. And within the foreseeable future we can expect most people to live to the age of 90 . This, says Professor John Ashton of the Faculty of Public Health, means we need big changes to how older people live - especially how they are housed. In his "Healthy Visions" programme, John Ashton inverts the usual terms of the housing debate. He believes that by concentrating on the needs of older people, the housing problems of younger people can be tackled too. Living to your dying day in the house you've lived in for fifty years will often not be the wisest option. Instead, planned new types of housing should be encouraged that support living in the neighbourhoods where people have recently lived. These new units would be built on a human scale, with the flexibility to adapt rooms to changing needs as people get older and their health deteriorates. They would be close to health centres and would be underpinned by local people actively supporting independent living. Escalating property prices, economic growth and rising living standards have all helped many baby boomers get richer. Now, argues John Ashton, it's time for them to help themselves and other generations in a new compact. The properties they move out of can help younger people get on the housing ladder. John Ashton visits examples of future living and community support in north-west England to illustrate how his vision can be realised. Presenter: Professor John Ashton Producer: Simon Coates Editor: Andrew Smith.


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