Home as a Feeling

of one

Home as a Feeling

The concept of home as a feeling is greatly explored in fiction and academic studies. The overall view on the subject is that home is always more than just a place and often embodies memory and emotions more than just a physical location.


  • According to Professor J. Macgregor Wise, we can understand home as a territory, but one that we take with us and that is defined by something as simple as a song that makes someone feels safe in the dark.
  • Home is fluid, whereby it is something that moves with us and is constantly remade through our actions and can always be open onto other spaces

home as a journey

  • Home as a Journey relates to the path towards self-discovery, more like a pilgrimage that would help us understand what is important to us.
  • It also provides the notion of home as a beginning and an end point, whereby it is associated with life and death, and the journey through life. It’s the eternal home towards which we all travel and have the strength and certainty of its origin.

Home as a feeling of intimacy


  • We define spaces as "home" and "not home."
  • In humans, the idea of home almost completely displaces the idea of habitat.
  • "Home" is defined by moments and not places.


  • According to Frank T. McAndrew, Ph.D. “Home is the place where you feel in control and properly oriented in space and time; it is a predictable and secure place.”


  • According to a poll by the largest senior living referral service in the US, although 62% of seniors wanted to stay at home, an estimated three-fourths of those taken to assisted living facilities grew to like it due to the sense of community.
  • Stephen M. Golant, a University of Florida Geography Professor, noted that some of the things that old people seek for from their residential areas include a sense of belonging, simulation and enjoyment.
  • For a lot of senior citizens, the feeling of no longer belonging to a community is the hardest one and what makes them feel like they are not at home.

Home in literature

  • In literature, home is often described as "where we know and where we are known. It is where we go, and what we carry with us."
  • In the English Patient, home is one person sitting near another; in All the Light We Cannot See, it's Werner's passion for radio mechanics and sound — "a passion he brings with him wherever he travels."

home in environmental gerontology

  • Even though the focus of EG is dedicated to the physical surroundings of senior citizens, they also point out that Home is also related to routine and memories.
  • Feeling at home is very important to senior citizens, and a part of this importance it's attributed to "place;" however, most of it is related to emotional perception and being comfortable.

Home as a Place of Care

  • A study conducted with older people living in the UK showed that to them home was more than a physical location, representing familiarity and comfort.
  • Participants indicated that home would be their ideal place of care during dying. However, there were practical and moral issues associated with it, such as not having proper care, feeling like a burden to their loved ones or concerns about the quality of care.
  • The presence of professional care takers was viewed by some as the presence of strangers, and this was regarded as intrusive and compromising to the ideal of home.

Research Strategy:

Due to the client’s needs and field, we started our research by looking for information about how senior citizens see the concept of home. In order to provide more meaningful insight, we looked for academic papers, scientific articles and experiments regarding the matter. We looked for this information in sites like PubMed, ScienceOpen, NCBI, among others. We were able to locate an interesting study about the subject, which has been mentioned in this paper.
We then shifted our focus to surveys, case studies, polls and statics about the concept looking for practical examples and empirical insights. As such, we looked for this information on World Data, AmericanFactfinder, BetterHealth, among others. We also searched news sites and sites relating to senior care, like Aging, AARP, Senior living, among others. Based on this strategy, we were able to find some insights relating to the perception of home.

We then broadened our research to see how experts from different fields, such as psychologists, architects, gerontologists, etc., defined “home” hoping to be able to draw an overall scenario. We searched for “think pieces” in several news sites and magazines like Vanity Fair, Chronicles, The Chicago Tribune and the Smithsonian; we also checked niche sites, such as PeoplePlaceEspace, PsychologyToday, among others. We were able to find several views relating to different fields, and we showcased the more relevant ones in the report.

Next, we broadened our research once again to provide a more “romantic” view of home. We looked for examples in literature and art in order to provide more cultural insight. We looked for that in sites like the NY times, Buzzle, BBC, etc. We also looked again in academic directories such as NCBI and SSRN. We were able to find two great pieces, who were examined in the brief.

Finally, we took a deeper dive into the Environmental Gerontology world. We discovered that sites like NCBI, Scholar, Academic, among others, have a great selection on the topic; however, most of these studies are behind paywalls. The ones we could find available for free have been included in the report.