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Homes as Old Age Security? Households’ Perceptions of Housing and Elderly Care in Finland and Portugal


  • Päivi Naumanen
  • Pedro Perista
  • Hannu Ruonavaara


This paper investigates homeowners’ views on housing and elderly care in two urban localities in Finland and Portugal. A special emphasis is put on the perception of old-age care arrangements and the role of housing equity in providing security. Our qualitative interview data focuses on the shared frameworks of understanding through which interviewees make sense of these issues. Given the socio-cultural differences between the two countries, it can be expected that these frameworks would be rather different. The Finnish welfare state endorses the ideals of the Nordic welfare model, such as universal benefits, high coverage and public provision. Portugal represents the Mediterranean model where the family and the third sector are central in providing welfare and the state's role is more limited. Therefore, one could hypothesise that Portuguese interviewees regard old-age care mostly outside the scope of the state, with stronger inputs from the family than Finnish interviewees. Additionally, within the perspective of home as the locus of family solidarity and intergenerational transfers, equity withdrawal would be understood more negatively whereas Finnish households would see it more positively emphasising the benefits it gives to the individual.

Suggested Citation

  • Päivi Naumanen & Pedro Perista & Hannu Ruonavaara, 2012. "Homes as Old Age Security? Households’ Perceptions of Housing and Elderly Care in Finland and Portugal," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 47-68, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:12:y:2012:i:1:p:47-68
    DOI: 10.1080/14616718.2012.651322

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