What can local authorities do to improve the social care-related quality of life of older adults living at home? Evidence from the Adult Social Care Survey

K.M. van Leeuwen, J. Malley, J.E. Bosmans, A.P.D. Jansen, R.W.J.G. Ostelo, H.E. van der Horst, A. Netten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Local authorities spend considerable resources on social care at home for older adults. Given the expected growth in the population of older adults and budget cuts on local government, it is important to find efficient ways of maintaining and improving the quality of life of older adults. The ageing in place literature suggests that policies in other functions of local authorities may have a significant role to play. This study aims to examine the associations between social care-related quality of life (SCRQoL) in older adults and three potential policy targets for local authorities: (i) accessibility of information and advice, (ii) design of the home and (iii) accessibility of the local area. We used cross-sectional data from the English national Adult Social Care Survey (ASCS) 2010/2011 on service users aged 65 years and older and living at home (N=29,935). To examine the association between SCRQoL, as measured by the ASCOT, and three single-item questions about accessibility of information, design of the home and accessibility of the local area, we estimate linear and quantile regression models. After adjusting for physical and mental health factors and other confounders our findings indicate that SCRQoL is significantly lower for older adults who find it more difficult to find information and advice, for those who report that their home design is inappropriate for their needs and for those who find it more difficult to get around their local area. In addition, these three variables are as strongly associated with SCRQoL as physical and mental health factors. We conclude that in seeking to find ways to maintain and improve the quality of life of social care users living at home, local authorities could look more broadly across their responsibilities. Further research is required to explore the cost-effectiveness of these options compared to standard social care services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-113
Number of pages10
JournalHealth and Place
Early online date11 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Policy
  • Quality of Life
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Cite this