Nowadays, people aged over 65 are healthier and more socially active than their parents and grandparents used to be in that life stage. This group of elderly demands comfortable, safe and affordable houses, appropriate to live independently at home for a longer period of time. Government policies are also directed towards ageing in place. However, partially due to the ageing of the population, there is a shortage of suitable houses for this group. Living communities might be a suitable solution for these people. However, not all elderly are financially eligible for living in a community. Therefore, the accessibility of living communities in The Hague for elderly people with different characteristics is discussed in this report. Furthermore, it is examined how various actors deal with accessibility requirements.

These characteristics are assessed by the theoretical concept of capital. Capital consists of certain resources that people have acquired through effort during their lives. Those resources can be deployed for a certain purpose. The found types of capital are: economic capital, such as equity and income; cultural capital, in the form of acquired skills through educational background and professional experience, and social capital, in the form of people’s social network. Also, personal capital as in physical and mental health, personality and communicational skills came to the fore as an unexpected type of capital. Besides, the use of institutional work by actors to maintain, disrupt and create institutions such as accessibility requirements was analysed. The data was collected within two months. Interviews were conducted with community members and employees of housing corporations and the Centre for community living in The Hague. Also document analysis and observations were performed. For the coding of the data, abductive analysis was used.

Community living turned out to be a pleasant possible form of housing for a wide range of elderly in The Hague. However, living communities are inaccessible for a large proportion of this group. Social, cultural and especially personal capital, appeared to be very useful sources of capital for interested people to possess. Those sources stimulate each other and are therefore concentrated within a small group. However those few people often possess too much economic capital, which appeared to be a necessary source that is often a barrier. For communities it is necessary to select members on their social, cultural and personal capital to remain dynamic and maintain their core identity. However, despite the fact that communities possess this powerful tool, their identity is threatened by problems related to ageing and income requirements. Nevertheless, board members and candidates have found creative ways to halt these threats. Nepotism, influencing economic capital and negotiations are all examples of disruptive institutional work that have occurred in various communities.

Despite these efforts, community members or policymakers have not yet succeeded in conducting institutional work as creation. However, both policymakers and communities are working on solutions, such as creating communities with a mixture of houses for different incomes and ages. Also, trying to extent the margins within appropriate assignment might be a solution. Besides, policymakers and communities themselves should promote the concept of community living among the public and put it on the political agenda, to be able to solve the issues that communities are facing. Those ideas are hopeful possible solutions for the maintenance of community living in The Hague. If the described issues are solved, community living has the potential to become a widespread and successful form of ageing in place in the future.

Additional Metadata
Keywords communal place, living communities for elderly
Thesis Advisor Bochove, M.E. van
Persistent URL
Series Master Health Economics, Policy and Law
Sande, J.F.L. van de (Jolien). (2018, June 17). Ageing in a Communal Place. Master Health Economics, Policy and Law. Retrieved from