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.
- LONGITUDINAL STUDIES
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