Article Text

Download PDFPDF

The determinants of transitions into sheltered accommodation in later life in England and Wales
  1. Athina Vlachantoni1,2,3,
  2. Olga Maslovskaya4,
  3. Maria Evandrou1,2,3,
  4. Jane Falkingham1,3
  1. 1EPSRC The Care Life Cycle Project, Southampton, UK
  2. 2Centre for Research on Ageing, Southampton, UK
  3. 3ESRC Centre for Population Change, Southampton, UK
  4. 4Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI), University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Athina Vlachantoni, Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences, Centre for Research on Ageing and ESRC Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK; A.Vlachantoni{at}


Background Population ageing is a global challenge and understanding the dynamics of living arrangements in later life and their implications for the design of appropriate housing and long-term care is a critical policy issue. Existing research has focused on the study of transitions into residential care in the UK. This paper investigates transitions into sheltered accommodation among older people in England and Wales between 1993 and 2008.

Methods The study uses longitudinal data constructed from pooled observations across waves 2–18 of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) data, focusing on individuals aged 65 and over who lived in private housing at baseline and who were observed for two consecutive time points. A discrete-time logistic regression model was used to examine the association of transitioning into sheltered accommodation with a range of demographic, health and socioeconomic predictors.

Results Demographic (age, region), socioeconomic factors (housing tenure, having a washing machine) and contact with health professionals (number of visits to the general practitioner, start in use of health visitor) were significant determinants of an older person's move into sheltered accommodation.

Conclusions Transitions into sheltered accommodation are associated with a range of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics as well as service use but not with health. Such results indicate that this type of housing option may be accessible by individuals with relatively good health, but may be limited to those who are referred by gatekeepers. Policymakers could consider making such housing option available to everyone, as well as providing incentives for building lifecourse-sensitive housing in the future.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

View Full Text

Statistics from

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.