This paper analyses the value of information and advice for older people in making decisions about housing and care, drawing on an evaluation of FirstStop, a new national information and advice service. The paper discusses the housing problems often faced in older age, and the pressures on public finances of housing an ageing population. The Government is trying to engender a shift to early preparation, prevention and self‐help, so that older people make changes to their housing and care arrangements before encountering a crisis. The paper considers how older people can resolve their housing issues in more satisfactory and empowering ways, and at lower cost to the state, after receiving appropriate and timely information and advice. It also discusses the problems of funding this type of initiative, given the need to ‘prove’ the value for money of publicly funded services in quantitative terms, when the benefits of information and advice are difficult to monetarise.
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