Determinants of ‘ageing in place’ in Continental Europe

Celia Fernández-Carro, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Juan A. Módenes, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

‘Ageing in place’ is the widely extended and preferred residential way of ageing in western societies (Costa-Font, 2009). This concept refers to the capacity of older population to remain in their own home as long as possible despite changes in their needs (Means et al., 2008) and, normally, until some disability forces them to move to an institution. This residential feature is especially relevant due to the consequences of a longer life, as the increase in the length of time that the elderly live independently in their own dwellings (Tomassini et al., 2004; Oswald & Wahl, 2005). Even so, there is a few studies focused on explore the determinants that shape this kind of residential choice among elderly (Sabia, 2008). This paper aims to contribute to the best understanding of elderly residential preferences measuring the duration that elderly live in their own dwellings depending on socio-demographic characteristics, family composition and contacts, and dwelling conditions. Special attention is paid to the kind of support that the older households give/receive as determinant of the timing of ageing in place. The second objective is to compare the residential behavior of the elderly in some European countries in terms of stability, exploring the influence that each welfare system has on the ‘ageing in place’ patterns. The data for the analysis will be drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, using the 2004 and 2007 waves. This paper uses regression models to estimate how long elderly remain in their private homes and which determinants shape their decisions.

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Presented in Session 20: Ageing in place and older migrants