The purpose of this paper is to explore and compare the motivations and expectations that older people have when choosing to move into either a private or housing association (HA) extra care housing (ECH) scheme, and any effects this had on its residents.Design/methodology/approachThis qualitative study is based on findings from four HA schemes in Tower Hamlets, London, and one private scheme in Warwickshire. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with five women and three men of varying backgrounds, from schemes managed by different associations and companies. Interview transcripts were coded and analysed thematically.FindingsAll residents moved into ECH in response to deteriorating health. However, almost all residents had felt obliged to move by others, generally their children. Few residents had any expectations of ECH on arrival, but many developed high expectations of an increased sense of independence and security and of an improved social life. ECH appeared to be beneficial for residents’ health and well-being.Research limitations/implicationsThe inability to recruit an equal number of people from HA and private scheme, alongside the small sample size, may compromise the external validity of any conclusions drawn from any comparisons.Practical implicationsThis research identifies a lack of knowledge about ECH among the general population and offers insight into areas of poor management within ECH schemes which could be improved.Social implicationsInadequacies in the ECH model could be attributed to failures in the current health and social care system. Differences between expectations and perceptions of HA vs private schemes should be acknowledged and responded to.Originality/valueThis is a rare example of research exploring the relationships between ECH residents’ motivations and expectations (Hillcoat-Nallétamby and Sardani, 2019), and between those in HA vs private schemes.
Housing, Care and Support – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 18, 2020
Keywords: Older people; Housing with care; Assisted living; Extra care housing; Housing advice; Very sheltered housing