Exploring the Cost of ‘Ageing in Place’: Expenditures of Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Belgium

  • Bram FretEmail author
  • Britt Mondelaers
  • Liesbeth De Donder
  • Lise Switsers
  • An-Sofie Smetcoren
  • Dominique Verté
  • the D-SCOPE consortium


This paper aims to give an overview of the different sources of income and the expenditures of community-dwelling older adults and to what extent they can make ends meet to explore the affordability of care and support at home. Despite research on the affordability of residential care, evidence on the cost of ‘ageing in place’ is still missing. 173 questionnaires were gathered within a non-random sample of community-dwelling older adults (60+). Both frequencies and bivariate tests (to explore whether there are certain risk groups with low incomes and high expenditures) were performed on the data. Results indicate the variety of income sources, the necessity of financial compensations to make ends meet and that especially older women and older tenants are at risk for facing financial difficulties. Also, this research indicates that ‘ageing in place’, especially for older adults with care needs, is not always affordable and can be a challenge within our ageing society.


Ageing in place Income Expenditures Financial accessibility Older adults 



The authors would like to thank ‘DKV’ for the financial support of the study as well as ‘Kenniscentrum Wonen Welzijn en Zorg’ and ‘Zorgbedrijf Antwerpen’ for the coordination of the ‘Active Caring Community’ project platform.

The D-SCOPE consortium is an international research consortium composed of researchers from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (dr. An-Sofie Smetcoren, dr. Sarah Dury, prof. dr. Liesbeth De Donder, prof. dr. Eva Dierckx, Deborah Lambotte, Bram Fret, Daan Duppen, prof. dr. Martinus Kardol, prof. dr. Dominique Verté); College University Ghent, Belgium (Lieve Hoeyberghs, prof. dr. Nico De Witte); Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium (Ellen De Roeck, prof. dr. Sebastiaan Engelborghs, prof. dr. Peter Paul De Deyn); Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium (Michaël Van der Elst, prof. dr. Jan De Lepeleire, prof. dr. Birgitte Schoenmakers) and Maastricht University, The Netherlands (Anne van der Vorst, prof. dr. Rixt Zijlstra, prof. dr. Gertrudis Kempen, prof. dr. Jos Schols).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest


Informed Consent

As there is no person or personal data appearing in the paper, there is no one from whom permission should be obtained in order to publish personal data.

Ethical Treatment of Experimental Subjects (Animal and Human)

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational SciencesVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Wit-Gele Kruis van Vlaanderen vzwBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Master in Adult Educational SciencesBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)BrusselsBelgium

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