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Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research


The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which the provision of a government-backed, centralised advice and support service, named FirstStop, can assist older people in making informed decisions on ways to plan ahead as their housing and care needs change. Drawing upon conceptual frameworks of residential decision making and through the use of in-depth interviews, the paper examines how impartial and tailored advice and support on different housing options improves elderly adults’ decision making process and alters their housing outcome. The paper concludes that not only can such a publicly-funded service facilitate independent living for longer; it may also delay or prevent the need for higher intensity institutional care.