What can the life course tell us about the meaning of home for the baby boomers?

Authors: Board, M.

Conference: The British Society of Gerontology 45th Annual Conference, University of Stirling

Dates: 6-8 July 2016


There is growing emphasis to allow people to age in place. There are, however, conflicting messages from the Government for example the bedroom tax (Power et al 2014) which is making people fearful about their long term security about where they live. Using photo-elicitation interviews this paper will report on the findings from a PhD study that considered the impact of an individual life course on the meaning of home of six baby boomers. The participants revealed how their individual life courses have influenced their meaning of home, such as where they live, where they work, their roles as parents, grandparents, the effect of illness and their fearful anticipation of future life transitions such as their children leaving home, growing older and even death. Yet their unique life course has been set within a changing world, with dramatic changes in relationships, housing and work choices, which can all influence the option to age in place. This research adds to an anticipatory gerontology, to capture a better understanding of what baby boomers want from their home, which is in contrast to the housing policies of the 1970’s when the views of the general population were not considered (Stewart 2005). This research has offered an insight in to the lived experience of the significance of home, and also, sadly, the huge divide between the rich and the poorer members of society.

Source: Manual

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