Is 'ageing at home' the preference? A case study of older Spanish population

Celia Fernández-Carro, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

One of the arguments utilised to support the ageing-in-place policies is that this residential solution is the most desired by older people. This statement is supported by empirical evidences that have interpreted such behaviour, i.e. the fact that older people mostly reside in their own homes, as a “choice”. However, there is another less common approach to elderly living decisions based on the assessment of their perceptions. That means not putting the focus on whether older people are effectively ageing at home, but it is more about what their ideal preferences are in regard to the best environment to growing older. The aim of this study is to explore the opinions of Spanish population aged 65 and over about the preferred setting to live in later life, identifying the factors that condition the election of each one of the alternatives (the own home, co-residence in a relative’s home and institutions). The results are analysed regarding to two hypothetical situations: what would be the preferred living situation in case of a healthy ageing and what would it be in case of frailty. The data for the analysis are drawn from the survey Encuesta de Mayores 2010 (IMSERSO) by means of different specifications of Logit techniques, namely a Logit Regression Model and a Multinomial Logit Regression Model. The results point out that the ‘ageing at home’ option is the most desired when elderly people foresee a healthy old age. However, the order of preferences changes when they are asked about their desires in case of disability, showing that co-residence at relative’s home remain being a preferred solution for older people in Spain to seek care and support in later life.

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Presented in Poster Session 3