Almshouse Longevity Study - Can Living in an Almshouse Lead to a Longer Life?

Almshouse Longevity Study cover

Published by Bayes Business School, this report suggests that living in almshouses can reduce the negative impact on health and social wellbeing which is commonly experienced by the older population in lower socioeconomic groups.

The results show that, for several of the almshouses included in the study, residents can expect to live as long as wealthier members of the general population despite coming from the most deprived quintile. This shows that the disparity in longevity and health outcomes could be mitigated even after reaching retirement age, provided a suitable social infrastructure can be put in place.

The report, authored by Professor Ben Rickayzen, Dr David Smith, Dr Anastasia Vikhanova and Alison Benzimra, concludes that almshouses could help the Government’s aims to reduce inequalities in mortality, which are observed between socioeconomic groups, by reducing the social isolation experienced by many in the older population.

The report’s key findings are:

  • Residents in almshouses in England receive a longevity boost relative to people of the same socioeconomic group from the wider population.
  • The best-performing almshouses in the study so far have shown a longevity boost which increases life expectancy to that of a life in the second-highest socioeconomic quintile.
  • This longevity boost could be due to both the strong sense of community and social belonging within almshouses which lead to better physical and mental health. Enhanced wellbeing helps to mitigate loneliness which is endemic in older age groups.