Methods: Using Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review methodology, we conducted a review of the literature to capture the nature and breadth of existing research on shelter/housing models for OPEH. Fourteen databases (Academic Search Premier; Ageline; CINAHL Complete; ERIC; Geobase; Global Health; Google Scholar; JSTOR; Medline w/Full Text; ProQuest Sociology Collection; Project Muse; PsycINFO; Social Sciences w/Full Test; Social Work Abstracts; and Web of Science) were searched for English-language peer-reviewed and/or empirical literature published 1999 – 2019.
Results: After screening, 24 articles remained for inclusion in the review. Supportive shelter/housing models for OPEH, categorized into across a continuum that considered whether a physical structure was provided, the length of time OPEH were able to access the physical structures, and the services and supports offered to OPEH clients include: 1) Permanent supportive housing (PSH), including PSH delivered through Housing First, 2) Transitional housing, 3) Shelter settings with medical supports, 4) Drop-in centers, and 5) Case management and outreach.
Conclusions and Implications: Aging in the right place for OPEH requires inclusion of health and social supports in shelter/housing that contribute to positive aging, a sense of home, and community reintegration. This review revealed additional considerations for promoting aging in the right place for diverse OPEH across the shelter/housing continuum, including social connection and trusting relationships, including from peer supports; individualized services and supports, including 24-hour onsite physical and mental health care; and affordable supportive housing options that are co-located with opportunities for socialization and transportation to offsite services. Findings from this review have enabled us to outline the continuum of existing shelter/housing models that support aging in the right place for OPEH. This continuum of models can be used as a template for designing and implementing future shelter/housing solutions, while providing a foundation for exploring new avenues of evaluation research and determining which shelter/housing models hold the opportunity to support which sub-groups of OPEH to age in the right place. Building such an evidence base has significant potential to advance policy, practice, and housing design to better meet the unique shelter/housing needs of diverse OPEH.