HomePublicationsCohabitation Units Accommodations for elderly people to "live as if at home"

Cohabitation Units Accommodations for elderly people to "live as if at home"


The first sociological report conducted in Spain on the situation of the elderly (Gaur Report, 1975) described the living conditions of those people who had to end their days in a nursing home: "Hunger, cold, lack of hygiene, barrack environment, promiscuity and ignorance, are still present in collective accommodations for the elderly as byproducts of a situation of misery that is not only provided by most of the residents, but that also exists in the centre itself..."

Fortunately, the evolution of those benefit-care nursing home models to our current nursing home market has occurred in a relatively short period, with a marked presence of private initiatives that have promoted a large-scale nursing home model (between 100 and 200 facilities), with hotel design and a wide range of geriatric care services for people in situations of dependency. However, while the nursing home model is consolidating in Spain, in countries such as the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, the USA and the UK, it has been experiencing a profound change in the care model since the 1990s that is much more focused on preferences of individuals and respect for their privacy and individual rights (Sancho, Rodriguez, 2002).

Perhaps one gives the clearest causes of this change lies in people's desire to age at home, usually in the house where they have lived for the longest time throughout their lives.

In this case, the position of older people is fairly consistent and homogeneous: they opt to address the ageing process in their home until it is absolutely necessary to leave, as indicated by various different studies (BASA, 2011).


Fotografía de Pura Diaz-Veiga
Pura Diaz-Veiga Knowledge Dissemination Advisor
Mayte Sancho
Mayte Sancho Expert in gerontological planning