Importance of home as we age

How our society is supporting, or hindering, all of us to age well is the big question we have been exploring.

Spending time with older people from all sorts of backgrounds, we have found that a “good home” is much richer and more complex than a financial asset or a roof overhead.

A good home has three critical functions in people’s lives

Asset, Gateway and Expression diagram


Rather than financial equity, the real asset is security of tenure, enabling choice and control of your living circumstances.

Knowing you can wake up in your own home tomorrow and have control over when and where you move enables a wider sense of self- determination and self-efficacy – a feeling we’re in charge of our own existence.

It prevents us feeling like the needs and decisions of others force us to live in certain ways, not of our choosing. It gives us the freedom to invest in ourselves and our surroundings.


Home is the access point that connects us to others and our community.

The ability to regulate the flow and quality of relationships through the home is critical to reducing loneliness and isolation.

A good home enables us to ‘open the gate’ for interaction and support from others. It also enables us to ‘shut the gate’ for time alone, or to feel safe in our own sanctuary. Gateway includes how our neighbourhood and the design of our house facilitates community connections.


Home is where we express and evolve our identity.

Having control over our space gives us the ability to display who we are and show our personalities – these spaces express who we’ve been, who we are and who we may become. A good home also enables us to do the activities and hobbies that give us meaning and purpose.

Being able to invest in a home and community enables us to form stronger and more congruent identities. Without it, we can feel lost and like we don’t belong anywhere.

By looking through the eyes of older people, we have been able to see these big themes and in the context of their lives, see what it takes to build better outcomes at a systems level.

Innovation Age Report

In partnership with the JO & JR Wicking Trust, the Innovation Age is a multi-year initiative that aims to catalyse the next generation of policy, services and products that enable all Australian’s to age well.