Conference Agenda

RN01_09a: Conditions of Housing in Old Age
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Peter Kevern, Staffordshire University
Location: UP.3.204
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Third Floor Oxford Road


Housing Concepts In Close Relationships In Old Age

Julia Piel, Bernt-Peter Robra

Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany

In social research, living as a couple in the same household is considered as the ideal form of housing in a close relationship (CR) for each age group. Especially for younger generations of older people, it can be assumed that CR-concepts have diversified by individualization. Then forms of housing in CR vary from the ideal of cohabitation.

For sociologists it is interesting with which orientation older people choose an alternative arrangement of housing in a CR besides the traditional form of cohabited housing.

In a qualitative interview study with German couples aged between 63 and 88, the type of living together has an identity-forming function. It was possible to observe a correlation with the negotiation of partnerships and with the individual's need for autonomy and closeness in a CR.

On the basis of two case studies of a hetero- and a homosexual older couple it can exemplarily be depicted how partners negotiate couplehood through the form of housing. This was observed in interactive processes like "doing couple" and "doing difference" in the couple interview.

Partners who have underlined individuality in life course have a greater need for self-realization, also in later life phases. This is reflected in apartment’s size or in separate living arrangements. The influence of biographical and socializational factors is more relevant than the sexual orientation of couples.

The findings invite researchers to discuss scientific views on CR in old age by taking greater account of older couples who live in non-traditional housing concepts together.

Age or Environment? What is Determinative in how Homeless People Spend their Time after the Age of 55?

Frantisek Kalvas, Jan Vane

University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic

As people grow older, their action radius as well as sense of belonging tend to shrink to smaller geographical areas and places. It also applies to the homeless people. But there are two more important factors to add: time dispositions and living in the street or at the shelter house.

Using unique data gathered in our own research of homeless people, we will explore whether it is either age or environment what is determinative in how homeless and roofless people (definition based on the European Typology on Homelessness and Housing Exclusion) spend their time ensuring livelihood and doing their free time activities. We focus primarily on the homeless and roofless people who are after the age of 55 and are excluded both by age and space.

We conducted data collection in the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic. We visited 79 temporary shelters where homeless and roofless people slept overnight. The data collection included a census and was a single action in institutions providing shelters and in pre-selected locations in order to reach homeless and roofless people in places of their overnight dwell.

Relocation In Later Life – Experiences From Communal Senior Housing

Paula Helena Vasara1, Jiby Mathew Puthenparambil1, Outi Jolanki2

1University of Jyväskylä, Finland; 2Tampere University

Policy of ageing in place is strongly encouraged in western welfare societies battling with issues related to greying populations and welfare costs. Supporting older people to continue living in their familiar surroundings with necessary services is portrayed as a cost effective and benevolent policy that enables ageing well. However, it is not self-evident that anchoring oneself to a certain place guarantees good outcomes, and people do move for several reasons later in life. Up until recently, the number of alternatives to regular housing have been limited. Our survey Everyday life, support and services supports common findings that older people seek to relocate reasons related to more easily manageable everyday life, such as services nearby and familiar residential area. The characteristics of home also play an important role, particularly in connection to major life events, such as bereavement. However, there is not yet much research on experiences related to moving into one of these new kinds of alternatives. The purpose of this study is to look into the reasoning and outcomes related to moving into a communal senior block. The dataset is part of first wave map-assisted interviews carried out in the CoE AgeCare / AHAVA. Preliminary analysis indicates that this senior block not only offers residents convenient and suitable housing, but also appears to benefit their overall wellbeing with more active and social lives. It enables older residents to create positive interpretations, continuums and turning points in their life course.