Middle aged and older adult’s perspectives of their own home environment: a review of qualitative studies and meta-synthesis

Roslyn Aclan, Stacey George, Heather Block, Rachel Lane, Kate Laver

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Background: Most people prefer to remain in their homes and communities as long as possible. Staying at home is widely beneficial as ageing within the home promotes independence and costs less than residential aged care. Understanding meanings and drivers of remaining at home is an area of importance. Objective: The objective of this systematic review of qualitative studies was to synthesise middle and older aged adult’s perspective of their home environment and determine the factors that are important when making decisions about future housing. Methods: This review and meta-synthesis was conducted in accordance with JBI (formally known as the Joanna Briggs Institute) methodology for systematic reviews of qualitative evidence. Meta-aggregation was used as the method of synthesis. Included qualitative studies involved middle and older aged adults and their views about ageing and housing. Published studies were identified in four electronic databases and grey literature. Critical appraisal and extraction were conducted using JBI tools and findings were categorised and synthesised into findings. Results: A total of 46 papers with 5183 participants on the concept of home were included. Most of the participants were older (> 65 years old) and the perspectives of middle-aged people were largely absent. Factors impacting on future housing decisions among individuals were identified. Seven synthesized findings emerged—independence, finances, stigma, attitudes towards ageing, attachments with home, aesthetics, and family connection. Conclusion: Older people have a greater sense of independence and autonomy if they remain in their own home. Multiple external factors impacted on their perspectives including a sense of stigma about ageing, fear of being a burden to others and their own financial position which in some cases restricted their options. This review provides a comprehensive description of the different factors that need to be considered when planning future housing needs; both for individuals and for communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number707
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Age-in-place
  • Housing
  • Meta-synthesis
  • Views


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