Housing Voices: Using theatre and film to engage people in later life housing and health conversations

Bailey, Catherine, Forster, Natalie, Douglas, Barbara, Webster Saaremets, Claire and Salamon, Esther (2019) Housing Voices: Using theatre and film to engage people in later life housing and health conversations. Housing, Care and Support. ISSN 1460-8790 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/HCS-04-2019-0011

Abstract

Aim: Quality, accessible and appropriate housing is key to older people’s ability to live independently. Our research seeks to understand older people’s housing aspirations and whether these are currently being met. Evidence suggests one in five households occupied by older people in England do not meet the standard of a decent home. The Building Research Establishment has calculated that poor housing costs the English National Health Service £1,4bn annually (Roys et al., 2016).
Method: This article reports on the findings of a participatory theatre approach to engaging with those not often heard from –notably, those ageing without children and older people with primary responsibility for ageing relatives – about planning for housing decisions in later life. The project was led by an older people’s forum, X Council Newcastle, with X Arts organisation and Northumbria University, in the North east of England.
Results: Findings suggest there is an urgent need to listen to and engage with people about their later life housing aspirations. There is also a need to use this evidence to inform housing, health and social care policy makers, practitioners, service commissioners and providers and product and service designers, to encourage older people to become informed and plan ahead.
Conclusion: Use of a participatory theatre approach facilitated people to explore their own decision-making and identify the types of information and support they need to make critical decisions about their housing in later life. Such insights can generate evidence for future housing, social care and health needs. Findings endorse the recent Communities and Local Government (CLG) Select Committee Inquiry and report on Housing for Older People (Department Communities and Local Government, 2018) and the need for a national strategy for older people’s housing.
Although this call is evidenced through an English national case study, from within the context of global population ageing, it has international relevance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Housing, Theatre, Public engagement, Housing decisions, Later life, Life course housing
Subjects: B700 Nursing
L400 Social Policy
L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 13:19
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2019 14:35
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/40794

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