Journal of Housing for the Elderly
We analyze a case study of an innovative intergenerational housing arrangement in the Netherlands as an example of how a local long-term elderly care practice evolved in response to contemporary challenges.
Since 90% of older adults prefer aging in place, it is important that neighborhood design supports successful aging. Beyond basic needs, research indicates quality interaction is associated with positive health and wellbeing benefits, particularly for older adults. In this, design supporting social relationships plays an essential role.
Denmark has been a pioneer in social-sectorled elderly housing. It is especially known for a high level of participation from the social sector and a generally high standard of retirement housing design and service delivery. The social sector provides for 20% of social housing in Denmark whereas the government provides for just 2%.
Cohousing schemes are developed to fulfill the need for a housing type that provides mutual support and social contacts while alleviating the isolation and loneliness often experienced in ordinary neighborhoods.
The focus of this paper is on a category of affordable housing arrangements that has emerged to help low-income older persons cope with their long-term care needs in their communities. These purposely planned or adapted housing options make it possible for their occupants to benefit from both affordable shelter (i.e., room and board) and long-term care.
Client files of a city emergency service agency were randomly sampled to examine the post-emergency experience of different types of elderly clients. More than half of the emergencies were housing related. Interviews with these clients six months to three years later reveal a high rate of continuing need, institutionalization, and death.