Residential preferences of elderly: impact of need for care and family proximity

The proportion of senior citizens in the Dutch population is increasing rapidly and will likely reach 25% – about 5 mln people – by 2040 (CBS, 2012). The government stimulates elderly to live independently at home for as long as possible, among other things in order to keep public long-term care financially sustainable. At the Ministry of Health, this policy includes e.g. monitoring of the factors that contribute to successfully ageing at home.
A necessary condition for successful ageing at home is a residential location (physical environment) that meets the needs of the elderly.1 In this project we study the importance for elderly of various attributes of a residential location, including: proximity to facilities (care, nature, culture, public transport, etc.), type of neighborhood, proximity to children and other family. We examine how the health condition of the elderly, their family situation and need for care affect these preferences. We exploit microdata on recent residential moves of the elderly.
People entering the third age, experience a shift in their residential preferences. Accessibility, safety and social cohesion become more important, as well as proximity to facilities (see Ossokina et al., 2018 and the references therein). Elderly may furthermore want to trade-off a larger size of a dwelling for more comfort and a better location with higher amenities and lower taxes (Bonnet et al., 2010, Chen en Rosenthal, 2008, Önder and Schlunk, 2015). Various factors can affect this trade-off, e.g. income after retirement or the financial situation of the children (Bian, 2016, Eichholtz and Lindental, 2014, Painter and Lee, 2009). In this project, we contribute to the literature by looking at how health condition, family situation and need for care affect the residential moving preferences of the elderly.
We will use the results to develop a practical tool that allows to evaluate how senior-friendly different neighbourhoods are for elderly of different health conditions. We also use the results to provide insights into the importance of family proximity. This research is a Netspar topicality project and it makes part of the research program on elderly housing and care at the TU Eindhoven.

Read the paper here.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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