The impact of a refurbishment programme on older people living in sheltered housing

Zeb Sattar*, Stephanie Wilkie, Jonathan Ling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper aims to explore residents' perceptions of a refurbishment programme to sheltered housing schemes and its impact on their well-being.

The methodology draws upon a realist evaluation framework. Four participatory appraisals (PAs) and 19 interviews with residents were conducted in the sheltered housing schemes. Ages of participants ranged from 50 to 99 years.

Two categories of residents were identified: healthy active older adults and older frail adults (or over 85+). Residents said their social and emotional well-being improved from the provision of indoor and outdoor communal areas. Older frail residents only accessed the new communal spaces when staff took them in their wheelchairs. The physical changes increased opportunities for social connections for residents. Conservatories and sensory gardens were most popular. Residents felt that structured activities in the new spaces and digital training would improve their social activities.

Research limitations/implications
The participatory methods spanned over an hour, and some residents felt too tired to complete the full session.

Practical implications
A practical limitation was that some sensory rooms were not fully completed at the time of the evaluation.

This paper adds the following: Perceptions of residents of a refurbishment programme in sheltered housing and the impact on their well-being. Perceptions of residents about social activities after a refurbishment programme. Perceptions of residents about the impact of physical changes to their sheltered housing schemes and impact on their internal accessibility to the improvements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-64
Number of pages11
JournalHousing, Care and Support
Issue number2
Early online date19 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2021


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