Despite the development of various housing options across Europe, older people often face the choice of staying at home with the support of family and/or formal services or moving to a care home, but how people vary regarding these preferences and how newer cohorts will be different is under-researched. This study explores the housing choices of older people under the condition of liminality, which is defined as the hypothetical condition of high care needs. The most common choices available are compared; that is, staying at home (with social home-care support or visits to a daycare centre) or moving to supported housing or a care home. Cluster analysis revealed five distinct groups of older people that were differentiated in their choices between various options of moving versus staying at home, either by using home care or daycare. Differences between the clusters along three dimensions that influence decisions to move or stay, namely levels of attachment, satisfaction with housing and availability of support, which often function as limits on the options that are preferred, were explored. The results present the complexity of the decision-making process under imagined conditions of liminality and show a great diversity among people’s preferences. They also indicate that a significant share of older people have a strong preference for only one option (two of the cluster groups).
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