The quality of life of older people aging in place: a literature review

Qual Life Res. 2017 Nov;26(11):2899-2907. doi: 10.1007/s11136-017-1651-0. Epub 2017 Jul 13.


Purpose: In order to cope with the challenges that are the result of an aging population, policies and services promote keeping elders in the community and letting them age in place rather than sending them to specialized institutions. Aging in place refers to the option where people can stay in their homes as they age. This policy option, however, poses various challenges and may also threaten the quality of life of the aging. A literature review was performed on the quality of life of older people aging in place to determine whether the actual assessment of quality of life can be used within aging in place.

Methods: Web of Science, PubMed, CINAHL, Sociological Abstracts and Social Science Research Network were searched for publications on "Ag(e)ing in place" AND "Quality of life."

Results: Although assessment is crucial to a policy pursuing a good quality of life, literature reveals that it is seldom performed. Only a small part of the studies report on the assessment of quality of life, including the instruments used and the results. The findings also indicate that there is no consensus on the definition of quality of life or its domains structures.

Conclusion: As no existing instrument assessing the quality of life of older people aging in place could be identified, such a tool should be developed, because any policy towards this growing group of people should be complemented by an evaluation.

Keywords: Aging in place; Assessment; Older people; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Quality of Life / psychology*