Housing and Home in Later Life

By Frances Heywood, Christine Oldman and Robin Means.
Open University Press
ISBN 0 335 20169 5

This is the latest title in the excellent “Rethinking Ageing”
series published by the Open University Press. As might be expected
from such a pedigree, this book provides a good summary of the
policy issues and research around housing and older people. The
potential contribution of this book is its central – and persuasive
– argument that approaches to housing and later life are inherently
ageist and dominated by a medical model of disability.

The chapter on communal settings and the increasing blurring of the
boundaries of provision offers a useful challenge to the problems
associated with the prevailing negative attitude to residential
care. The concluding chapter was the best bit of the book for me,
advocating a rethink that places housing in later life at the heart
of an integrated social policy. All the topical themes are aired,
including involving older people in joint working and boundary
issues. All this shouldn’t seem radical in 2002 – but it

At a time when the role of care homes has become a hot topic,
understanding the proper relationship between housing and care for
older people alongside the promotion of independence has never been
more pressing.

Des Kelly is partnerships director, Bupa Care

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