Quality of Life and the Role of Communal Space in Sheltered Housing: A Qualitative Study

By Paul Brownbill.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 22, 2016 $US5.00

The aim of this article is to explore the meaning and value of communal spaces to sheltered housing residents and the contribution communal spaces make to quality of life. The findings provide evidence that communal spaces are an indispensable part of the fabric of sheltered housing, especially for those without external support or who are unable to leave the sheltered-housing complex. Those who used the communal spaces perceived its availability as integral to their quality of life. Residents who did not use community spaces generally had good family support, health and mobility problems, and/or stated more instances of poorer quality of life. However, those who chose not to use the communal spaces but rated their quality of life as good could perceive the value of communal spaces for other residents. This article recommends that new and existing sheltered housing should make space available where residents can meet both formally and informally. Activities available should be interesting and stimulate the residents. It should be a priority that sheltered housing makes provisions where practicably possible to assist residents who cannot make use of the communal room by themselves, and make sure that those who do not visit the communal room are doing so through personal choice.

Keywords: Sheltered Housing, Communal Space, Quality of Life

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.9-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 22, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 592.271KB)).

Paul Brownbill

PhD Student, Faculty of Life Science and Education, University of South Wales, UK