What does ‘ageing in place’ actually mean? For some it means staying put in the family home in their later years. For others it means staying in the same community. And for another group it means moving to a more suitable place in which to grow old. Regardless, it means NOT going into residential care at any point, or at least, only as a last resort. But ageing in place can sometimes lead to isolation. How can we maximise inclusion for ageing in place?
Researchers at the University of Manchester developed a ‘village’ model of support based on those in the US. A village is a grassroots community-based group that supports people to age well in their own homes. The people who know how to do this best are older people themselves. So researchers involved older people in the research.
The residents came together to identify the services that they need and how they could be better managed. Story-telling was an integral part of the data collection. Ideas were generated for supporting ageing in place at a local level.
The report on the project provides more detail about the diversity of the people they worked with. It recounts the difficulties recruiting volunteers and participants as well as overcoming distrust of decision-makers. Access to formal and informal meeting places was also an issue.
Recommendations include building social infrastructure and strengthening organisations led by older people.
The title of the report is, Community interventions to promote ‘ageing in place‘.
Jem Golden provides an overview of the research project in a LinkedIn article. The main objectives are:
- Advance understanding of ‘ageing in place’ in cities using interdisciplinary perspectives
- Examine policies and age-friendly initiatives aimed at supporting ageing in place across seven cities
- Explore experiences of ageing in place among diverse ageing populations (reflecting different ethnic, gender and class backgrounds) living in urban neighbourhoods
- Develop methods and tools for measuring and reporting the impact of age-friendly interventions
- Co-produce innovative models of dissemination with various stakeholder groups