Housing accessibility for senior citizens in Sweden: Estimation of the effects of targeted elimination of environmental barriers

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Abstract

Aim: To estimate the effects of targeted elimination of environmental barriers (EB) in the ordinary housing stock in Sweden, and to explore the estimated effects on accessibility at a population level in relation to (a) residents with different functional profiles, (b) different housing types and (c) building periods. Method: Data on dwellings from existing Swedish research databases were utilized. EB and accessibility were assessed by means of the Housing Enabler instrument. In simulations of EB removal, five items that correspond to the most common housing adaptations were selected. The simulations were applied to four functional profiles of different complexity. Result: EB known to be commonly removed by housing adaptations exist in large proportions of the existing ordinary housing stock. Estimated targeted elimination of selected barriers would have the largest accessibility effects for the more complex functional profiles. The effects would be consistently larger for one-family houses, and for all types of dwellings built before 1960. Conclusions: The elimination of the EB most commonly addressed by housing adaptations could result in a reduction of the housing accessibility problems that community-living older people are facing. For society to solve the housing situation for the ageing population well-informed and efficient upgrading of ordinary housing is imperative.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
  • Building Technologies

Keywords

  • functional limitation, home modification, housing adaptation, occupational therapy, Public health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-418
Number of pages15
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume25
Issue number6
Early online date2017 Jan 23
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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