Ageing In Place Strategy Implementation In Western Societies

People in the UK are living longer than ever before, and in common with other developed countries, the UK’s population as a whole is ageing. In 2011, 10. 4 million (16 per cent) of the UK population was aged 65 and above. This is projected to increase to 17. 3 million (24 per cent) by 2035, with the ‘oldest old’ being the fastest growing group. The policy implications of an ageing population are widespread and span housing, health, quality of life, social care, and service demand (Local Government Association, 2015). Ageing in Place is one of the strategies developed to meet the diverse and often complex needs of older people in ageing Western societies (Iecovich, 2014). It refers to the common preference for older people to remain in their own homes as they age, helping them to maintain their independence and their social networks (World Health Organisation, 2015). For some this might mean staying in the home they have lived in for some time, others may move to a different home more suited to their needs that still enables them to stay connected to their friends, families and community: “The ability of older people to live in their own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income or level of intrinsic capacity. ” (World Health Organisation, 2015, p. 36)

Why do people like to age in place

Reasons, benefits, evidence. Any disagreements? Most but not all do. A qualitative research study by Wiles et. al (2011) which carried out interviews and focus groups with 121 older people aged 56 to 92, in two deprived communities in New Zealand. They found that these older people were not familiar with the policy term “ageing in place”. However, their key priority was that they should have choices about where and how they lived, and that they had access to services and amenties. They were passionate about the communities they lived in, they spoke of their “warmth”, “friendliness” and the social connection and interaction they enjoyed there. They did not appear to view their neighbourhoods as deprived, but spoke of them as “safe, socially vibrant active communities” and while some did refer to their experiences of crime they did not link these directly to the community. They had often had lived in their homes for decades, and felt very attached to their homes, their neighbours and friends in the area, and to their street, immediate surroundings and amenities such as public transport, familiar local shops and health services. Ageing in place, as they saw it, did not just refer to the property they lived in, but to the communities and the practical resources they wanted and needed.

Many wanted to stay in their own homes as they got older, linking this to being independent and autonomous. Most had strong aversion to living in a nursing home or institution, where they felt they would lose these highly valued aspects of their lives. However, a few of the older people in the study thought that more institutionalised living arrangements would offer an attractive level of social opportunities and security. The common factor in all of these views was that older people themselves should make the decisions that governed where and how they would live as they got older. There was no one-model-fits all regarding the best place for this. Is it always good for them to do so? Reasons, why and why not, evidenceIt depends.


Social and psychological (Sixsmith and Sixsmith, 2008) Neighbourhood and social network may undermine an older person’s ability to live independently at home (Sixsmith and Sixsmith, 2008)It cannot be assumed that ageing in place is right for everyone. Older people living in environments that they feel are unsafe or unsupportive, in communities where they feel isolated, and/or in housing that is unsuitable may prefer to live elsewhere. Golant (2008) argues against a one-size-fits-all solution, on the basis that low income and frail older homeowners will often be at risk of having unmet care and housing needs, and that relocation to more manageable properties, or to retirement housing complexes may be more appropriate. Ageing in place does have resource implications; a wide range of services and other caregivers may be needed. At their best, all will work together to provide the support required, flexing as appropriate to the older person’s needs. This offers a viable alternative to permanent residential care, which many older people do not want, and living at home without support, which may no longer be safe or promote optimum health. Finding and paying for the right mix of trained and supported paid workers and unpaid caregivers such as family friends and neighbours, can be challenging (WHO, 2015). However, while practical barriers to support may be present, in many cases, and in many older peoples’ preference, ageing in place is often best.


Summary of what’s been covered, a reasoned decision, and concluding remarksA high-quality conclusion will reach a reasoned decision on the essay question while also showing the significance of, and interconnections among, the aspects covered in the essay. It might also suggest lines of future research or wider implications (e. g. policy or social implications). It will come down on the side of one, or some balance, of the arguments discussed during the paper, explaining why certain arguments have been given greater or equal weight. It is often advisable for the last sentence of the conclusion to give a one-sentence answer to the proposed question.

18 May 2020
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