“Aging in Community”: Historical and Comparative Study of Aging Welfare and Social Policy

  • Sheying Chen
  • Jason L. Powell
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 20)


This chapter provides an introduction to the historical and comparative study of aging welfare by putting related issues in perspective in order to maintain a comprehensive understanding of the changing fields of aging, family, community, and social policy. Going beyond a current trend of “aging in place” (AIP), it reviews community care that once dominated social policy dialog in the West (particularly British Commonwealth), as well as community service that was once regarded as a main solution to the social issues of reformist China. The case of the United States is also highlighted by reviewing a scholarly interest in social support. By citing America’s “non-system” of community support for disabled elderly persons, the article recognizes an outstanding feature of AIP, that is, the “buy-in” from industry or the commercial sector in terms of its role in promoting aging at home. Other key social policy issues as seen in previous debates that baffled policy-makers in various countries, however, remain to be addressed in the much changed environment of the twenty-first century.


Community care and service Social support Aging in place Active aging Public policy Comparative historical analysis 



Aging/age in place


Certified Aging in Place Specialist


Continuing Care Retirement Community


Workplace (work unit)


General public policy


Lubben Social Network Scale


Long-term care


National Association of Area Agencies on Aging


National Association of Home Builders


Naturally occurring retirement communities


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheying Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jason L. Powell
    • 3
  1. 1.Public Administration/Social Policy, Pace UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Social Work Study, Tsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Social and Political ScienceThe University of ChesterChesterUK

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