Homes for Healthy Ageing

The Homes for Healthy Ageing programme demonstrates the role that innovation, collaboration and a human-centred approach can play in accelerating the development of healthy, age-friendly homes and neighbourhoods.

About the project

By 2050, 1 in 4 people in the UK will be over 65. As our population rapidly ages, we will need to ensure that our homes and neighbourhoods can support the health and wellbeing of older adults across the UK.   

But 80% of the homes that we will be living in by 2050 have already been built, so housing providers and place makers will need to find innovative ways to retrofit homes and create healthier, age-friendly places.  

We believe that the UK’s built environment and healthcare sectors can meet the needs of our ageing society by asking the right questions about the complex challenges facing older people and working together to develop more impactful and integrated solutions. 

To put this approach into practice, we developed a Real-World Testing Framework that brings stakeholders from local government, the built environment, healthcare, and academia together to identify, trial, and showcase innovative solutions to healthy ageing challenges in a safe, real-world environment. 

We are demonstrating the impact of this approach with testbeds in Northern Ireland, Sunderland, Leeds, Brighton, and Essex. With hands-on support and access to the latest innovation from UK businesses, our partners are gaining a better understanding of their local challenges and discovering new ways to tackle them.  

By adopting an innovative and collaborative approach, the UK can begin to deliver homes and neighbourhoods that not only support the health and wellbeing of older adults but enable them to thrive.  

What is real world testing?

Real-world testing is an approach that enables stakeholders to develop, test, and showcase new or existing products and services that tackle real place-based challenges in a real-world, physical environment.

  • We help stakeholders define and understand their local healthy ageing challenges.  
  • We connect stakeholders with the most innovative and appropriate solutions to tackle their local challenges.  
  • We help stakeholders create a safe space to test innovative products and services and gather evidence on the impact they can achieve in a real-world setting.  
  • We provide hands-on support with running open calls, deploying solutions, and measuring impact.  

Five testbeds and challenges

Contact the project team

For more information on this project, contact


Logo of Sunderland City Council featuring a stylized "o" in orange and red, with "Sunderland City Council" written in blue text.
Logo of Ulster University featuring a stylized "U" in dark blue with the text "Ulster University" in dark blue to the right.
The image shows the logo of Belfast City Council, featuring a crest and the text "Belfast City Council" beside it.
Red and white logo of Queen's University Belfast featuring a shield with a book, lion, harp, and hand, along with the text "Queen's University Belfast" and "Est. 1845".
Age NI logo featuring a colorful, abstract infinity symbol above the text "age NI" and the slogan "Love later life.
Logo of the Public Health Agency featuring a teal rectangular shape with the letters "HSC" in white, accompanied by the text "Public Health Agency" to the right.
Logo of Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (Hirani) with the tagline 'Partnerships for Health.'.
Logo of the Market Development Association featuring stylized building arches beside the text "Market Development Association Jim Harvey Centre" in black font.
Leeds City Council logo featuring owls and a shield with text reading "Leeds City Council" on the right.
Logo of Essex County Council featuring stylized red lines and text "Essex County Council" written below.
Logo of Brighton & Hove City Council featuring a black and white illustration of domed buildings, surrounded by the council's name in bold text underneath the image.
Logo of the University of Brighton featuring a black star-like emblem on the left with "University of Brighton" written in bold black text to the right.

Learn about the Northern Ireland testbed here. 

Learn about the Sunderland testbed here.