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Living Well in Old Age: The value of UK housing interventions in supporting mental health and wellbeing in later life

Purpose

This study reviewed the evidence base on housing interventions and older people’s mental wellbeing and ability to live well at home. It explored what is distinctive about the ‘housing offer’ and how housing interventions targeted at older people’s mental wellbeing are distinct from those provided in health and social care.

Timescale

2015 - 2016

Research Team

Meredith Fendt-Newlin, Michelle Cornes, Jill Manthorpe and Jo Moriarty (SCWRU)

Funding

Consortium of UK Housing Associations led by Housing Associations Charitable Trust (HACT).

Methods

To explore current housing practices related to the mental health and wellbeing of older people, information was first collected through consultation with UK social housing providers. A systematic scoping review using a modified narrative synthesis approach was conducted by evaluating peer reviewed published literature and grey literature from housing and mental health organisations.

Findings

Three key messages emerged from the review of the evidence .First, there is a great deal of talk about integration – but often this concentrates on health and social care, or just health services. Housing needs to be considered in these debates. Second, while strategies and plans are important, there is good evidence that relationships between managers and practitioners from different sectors are important at local level. Third, this review shows the value of taking a UK perspective since many innovations are occurring in different parts of the UK and need to be shared.

Outputs

The final report, published in 2016 by HACT and the Policy Institute at King’s, is available on the SCWRU website and is being used to inform the development of research on how to improve the mental health and wellbeing of older people living in UK housing association properties.

Fendt-Newlin, M., Cornes, M., Manthorpe, J. & Moriarty, J. (2016) 'Living Well in Old Age: The value of UK Housing Interventions in Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing in Later Life', London, Social Care Workforce Research Unit, Policy Institute at King's College London.

Impact

A feedback and next steps seminar was held at the Policy Institute in 2016 attended by HACT, stakeholders from housing associations and international researchers.

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