Optimizing Housing for the Elderly: Homes not Houses. Pastalan LA (ed), Binghamton, NY, Haworth Press, Ine, 1 990, 164 pages.
A vast array of different types of special housing and living arrangements will be needed to accommodate the changes that aging places on an older population. To explore the alternative living options confronting many older adults, Pastalan has assembled a timely collection of housing research articles.
Professors from major universities in Canada and the United States have contributed their expertise in housing alternatives to this book. The book is divided into nine chapters. Excluding the introduction, each chapter begins with a summary of the empirical research study and includes a presentation of the research data, charts and tables, discussion, conclusion, and references. The research areas presented include supportive housing preferences of older adults; the international treatment of housing needs: American versus British retirement homes; Canadian elderly housing; low-cost continuing care retirement communities; aging in suburban America; assisted living as a housing alternative; recreational vehicles for year-long living; and homeless older adults - a population with no housing options.
The chapters in this book are "deliberately wideranging in an effort to characterize the many and at times seemingly chaotic responses to housing needs." The issue of how to maintain older adults in their own homes is wellpresented. There is a consensus that housing needs of vulnerable older adults cannot be simply met by providing housing alone. Successful "aging in place" must incorporate housing with health, psychosocial, and environmental services.
This is a highly recommended source of housing research studies for health-care professionals and service providers who work with older adults living in the community. The chapter on older adults living in suburban areas is especially enlightening. Gerontological nurses, in particular, will find the content useful and resourceful in their practice.