A Digital Tool for the Self-Assessment of Homes to Increase Age-Friendliness: Validity Study

Roslyn Aclan, Stacey George, Kate Laver

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Background: Age-friendly environments in homes and communities play an important role in optimizing the health and well-being of society. Older people have strong preferences for remaining at home as they age. Home environment assessment tools that enable older people to assess their homes and prepare for aging in place may be beneficial. Objective: This study aims to establish the validity of a digital self-assessment tool by assessing it against the current gold standard, an occupational therapy home assessment. Methods: A cohort of adults aged ≥60 years living in metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, assessed their homes using a digital self-assessment tool with 89 questions simultaneously with an occupational therapist. Adults who were living within their homes and did not have significant levels of disabilities were recruited. Cohen κ and Gwet AC1 were used to assess validity. Results: A total of 61 participants (age: mean 71.2, SD 7.03 years) self-assessed their own homes using the digital self-assessment tool. The overall levels of agreement were high, supporting the validity of the tool in identifying potential hazards. Lower levels of agreement were found in the following domains: steps (77% agreement, Gwet AC1=0.56), toilets (56% agreement, κ=0.10), bathrooms (64% agreement, κ=0.46), and backyards (55% agreement, κ=0.24). Conclusions: Older people were able to self-assess their homes using a digital self-assessment tool. Digital health tools enable older people to start thinking about their future housing needs. Innovative tools that can identify problems and generate solutions may improve the age-friendliness of the home environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere49500
Number of pages13
JournalJMIR Aging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2023


  • age-friendliness
  • aging
  • digital
  • home environment
  • self-assessment
  • tool


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