Staying Put: Factors Associated with Ageing in One’s ‘Lifetime Home’. Insights from the European Context
‘Ageing in Place’ is a theoretical-practical concept used to promote those policies that facilitate older people stay at home as alternative to institutionalisation. While the political application of the term seems to presuppose universal benefits for those who age at home, critical gerontology has questioned alluding to the complexity of ageing process and the reductionist view that often underlies the institutional discourse around these policies. The aim of this article is to shed light on the premises assumed by the ‘Ageing in Place’ implementation, analysing the factors associated to a particular type of older Europeans; those with long-lasting residential trajectories. Using data from SHARE (wave 1, 2004), this work analyses the characteristics of those individuals aged 65 and over who for most of their life have presented a pattern of residential stability. The length of residential trajectory is assessed depending on socio-demographic characteristics, resources and support exchange networks and residential conditions. Special attention is paid to regional variations, comparing eleven countries of continental Europe. The main contribution of this article is to provide empirical findings that enhance the progression in an under-researched topic as residential immobility, discussing the assumptions that underlie to the implementation of ‘ageing in place’ policies in Europe, especially when it implies a disadvantaged living situation.