In today’s U.S. News article “Why Our Homes Make Us Happy,” UMBC professor Robert Rubinstein (Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology) argues that having a connection to home is important for our well-being throughout the life course and particularly in later life. “We live in a society that is concerned with freedom,” Rubinstein says. He argues “being able to make a space for yourself, and having a central place from which to look out at the world” is central to personal development in American culture, which highly values independence, autonomy and control.
Rubinstein offered particular insight for the meaning of home among older adults. He suggests transitioning to a new environment “can be very difficult for older people who have lived in a place for 40 or 50 years” and that they might benefit from counseling before moving into a smaller home or an assisted care facility.