High dependency seniors and Social policies in Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden and Poland Collaborative housing - mainstream for older people in the EU?

The short desk research on social policies that gave rise to this comparative report is part of a wide range of activities undertaken by four partner organizations from the United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy and Poland within a Grundtvig Learning Partnership project entitled “Co-Elderly – Co-housing and Social housing for Elders’ Reactivation”. The idea of ‘Co-EldeRly - Grundtvig Learning Partnership’ is to discuss at the European level the ways, methodologies and practices to “convert” elderly people with low mobility from “care-recipients” also to “care-givers”, moving from a passive situation to being actors of their own life. This opportunity gives them new forms of community living, sharing of common spaces, community decision-making procedures and self-customised services – Co-housing. As a social innovation this has many positive aspects, in relation to its beneficiaries (older people), the State and private companies. We can underline some of them – cutting welfare costs, emancipation and strengthening the decision-making abilities of older people; increasing seniors’ autonomy and giving a new mission, dimension and competences to the social welfare state and private social services providers.