This report for the Housing Learning and Improvement Network explores the likely impact of housing with care in helping to limit social isolation and loneliness from being an integral part of the ageing experience. The report questions the ways in which living in extra care housing could reduce or lower the risk of social isolation, and how this could in turn translate to lower dependency on state services. The report also presents case studies that outline the mechanisms through which living in extra care housing reduces the risk of social isolation. It begins through reviewing current government standpoints on social isolation and loneliness.
There is a widespread view, derived primarily from the lived experience of mental health service staff and service users, that housing has a significant impact on mental health. The aim of this purposive review is to describe the current state of evidence on the effect of housing circumstances, and housing-related interventions, on adult mental health and well-being. The review covers the entire range of health from chronic illness to positive thriving, and both individual and community-level/public health. It gives priority to research relevant to public policy considerations, in particular to the UK context. The complexity of methodological issues emerges as a key challenge for research in this field, and for the prospect of evidence-based national policy. The limited available evidence gives conditional support to: policies accentuating empowerment at individual and community levels; early intervention; locality or place-based interventions; and integrated working practice.