Exploring the Housing Needs of Older People in Standard and Sheltered Social Housing

Exploring the Housing Needs of Older People in Standard and Sheltered Social Housing

Objective

Our home can have a major impact on our physical and mental health; this is particularly true for older people who may spend more time at home. Older people in social (i.e., public) housing are particularly vulnerable. Housing options for older people in social housing include standard design dwellings or specially designed “sheltered housing.” The most suitable housing model should be identified, with older people consulted in this process.

Method

Survey of older people (aged ≥60) living in standard or sheltered social housing. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics in SPSS Version 22.

Results

Overall, 380 surveys were returned (response rate = 47.2%). All older people had similar housing needs. Those in sheltered housing were more satisfied with the physical home design and reported more positive outcomes. Older people in standard housing were less likely to have necessary adaptations to facilitate aging-in-place.

Discussion

Older people in standard housing reported more disability/illnesses, are worried about the future, and felt less safe at home. However, few wanted to move, and very few viewed sheltered housing as an alternative, suggesting limited knowledge about their housing options. Future social housing designs should be flexible, that is, adaptable to the needs of the tenants over time.

JOURNAL: Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine
VOLUME: 3
PAGES: 1-14
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017