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Care homes: the developing ideology of a homelike place to live.

Fleming, Anne; Kydd, Angela; Stewart, Sally


Anne Fleming

Sally Stewart


This paper reports on part of a doctoral study which explored stakeholder perceptions of the importance of a homelike environment in a care home and which factors contributed to this. The changes in institutional care for older people have evolved from being a ‘warehouse’ type of environment for those too poor, too mad, too sick and too unloved, to a place where older people in need of care can spend their days in safety, in a ‘homely’ environment. Such an environment is one of the quality indicators of care home provision. Yet defining what ‘homeliness’ means is fraught with difficulties. This article presents a narrative literature review on the concept of ‘home’ and the common measures taken to address homeliness in a care home setting. The results show that although the word ‘homely’ is used with the presumption of a shared understanding, the concept is elusive and highly subjective. Given that long-term care now provides homes for an increasingly wide range of age groups and individuals with increasingly diverse backgrounds and personal histories, is a shared viewpoint on homeliness possible? Indeed, is it ever possible to make an institution homely?


FLEMING, A., KYDD, A. and STEWART, S. 2017. Care homes: the developing ideology of a homelike place to live. Maturitas [online], 99, pages 92-97. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 22, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 27, 2017
Publication Date May 31, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 28, 2020
Journal Maturitas
Print ISSN 0378-5122
Electronic ISSN 1873-4111
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 99
Pages 92-97
Keywords Care homes; Homeliness; Elderly
Public URL


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