Specialist forms of housing with care are becoming increasingly popular in the United Kingdom, largely as a result of the ageing of the population and the relative wealth of the latest generation of older people. Retirement villages and extra care housing are two models of provision that have seen particularly spectacular growth. This is partly because in many ways they are perceived to promote government agendas for increasing independence and wellbeing for older people. They also aim to meet older people's aspirations for a good quality of life in their retirement years and to live somewhere they feel they belong. Many such housing developments are marketed as 'communities of like minded people', offering security, peace of mind, a range of facilities and new opportunities for friendship and social interaction.
This important book investigates changing concepts and experiences of community across the lifecourse and into older age and how they play out in housing with care settings. An overview of how the housing with care sector has developed, both in the UK and internationally, is provided. The book emphasizes the central importance of a sense of community for older people's quality of life and explores the impact of a range of factors including social networks, inclusive activities, diversity and the built environment.
The book will be of particular interest to students in the fields of gerontology, social policy, housing, planning, the built environment and community development. It will also appeal to academics, policy makers, practitioners, service providers and researchers, both in the UK and other countries with similar housing with care options, including the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
"...this book is an informative reference on the contemporary state of housing with care and its policy and regulatory context in the United Kingdom." Catherine Hagan Hennessy in The Gerontologist, June 2010
"This is a highly useful book. It provides much food for thought. It will be valuable to a range of audiences – students, those in academia, those who are considering their own housing choices as they grow older, as well as those people and organisations who are reflecting on the type of provision they might want to offer." International Journal of Housing Policy
"Where people choose to live, and how they will be cared for in later life, are issues affecting everyone in the 21st century. This important and timely book provides a lucid, jargon-free discussion of how important 'community' is to older people - and how this plays out in the now rapid expansion of retirement villages and extra-care housing. It will be essential reading for students, practitioners and policy makers, as well as for socially committed developers of such environments." Miriam Bernard, University of Keele
"This important book successfully pulls together the emergent literature on housing with care for older people and goes on to draw out the key issues for the future."
Robin Means, University of the West of England
Simon Evans is a researcher at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. He has extensive experience of researching services for older people across housing, health and social care. He sits on the Executive Committee of the British Society of Gerontology and is Chair of the Research Ethics Committee in the School of Health and Social Care.
Introduction; What is community?; Community and ageing; Housing with care communities in the UK; An international perspective on retirement villages; Promoting a sense of community in housing with care settings; Diversity, community and social interaction; Changing communities and older people; Conclusion.