Considering the home environment and planning for the future: A qualitative exploration of the views of older adults and individuals with older relatives

Roslyn Dalistan, Stacey George, Kate Laver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Successful ageing-in-place is dependent on the design and features of the home. In some cases, home modifications or relocation may be required. Accessible, affordable, age-friendly housing for older adults is required to encourage forward planning. 

Aims/objectives: To understand the views of middle and older aged adults and individuals with older relatives, about home safety, ageing in place and housing accessibility. 

Material and methods: A qualitative descriptive approach, using reflexive thematic analysis was used. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 16 participants, comprising eight middle- older aged people and eight individuals with older relatives. 

Results: Seven themes were identified. Most participants accepted the ageing process and could recognise home environment hazards and potential future housing needs. Others were determined to remain independent at home and resistant to making future changes until necessary. Participants were interested in obtaining more information about how to improve home safety or services to support ageing-in-place. 

Conclusion: Most older adults are open to conversations about planning for ageing-in-place and would like further information on home safety and home modifications. Educational forums and tools (such as flyers or checklists) which assist older people to plan future housing needs are recommended. 

Significance: Many older people are living in homes that present hazards and limited accessibility as they age. Earlier planning could lead to home modifications which will improve the capacity to age in place. Action to provide earlier education is needed as the population ages and suitable housing for older people is limited. Key points for occupational therapy Decision-making around home safety among the ageing population can be compromised by lack of awareness, inadequate access to information and the sudden onset of age-related changes. An education guide or tool to support forward planning and housing decisions may improve early awareness among the ageing population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1179
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Home environment
  • qualitative
  • safety
  • ageing

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