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Australas J Ageing. 2014 Mar;33(1):29-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2012.00646.x. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Supporting housing and neighbourhoods for healthy ageing: findings from the Housing and Independent Living Study (HAIL).

Author information

1
Research Centre for Gender, Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia; Hunter Medical Research Institute Public Health Capacity Building Group, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia; Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

Abstract

AIM:

To identify the extent to which homes and neighbourhoods of older community-dwelling people are 'supportive'.

METHOD:

Cross-sectional survey, in-home observation and interviews involving 202 participants (75-79 years). Measures included SF-36 health-related quality of life and Late Life Function and Disability Instrument (LLFDI) scores, and self-reported home usability, access, safety and neighbourhood. Associations between home and neighbourhood characteristics were assessed using χ(2) -tests, t-tests and Pearson correlations.

RESULTS:

Older people rated neighbourhood satisfaction highly (3.0 men, 3.2 women; 4 being the highest score). Many homes failed objective adaptability and safety ratings, particularly bathrooms (80% did not have a shower grab rail, 77% did not have non-slip floors); 27% of homes scored ≥8 of 25 possible hazards. There were significant correlations between perceptions of housing and neighbourhood and SF-36 and disability scores.

CONCLUSION:

Many homes and neighbourhoods may not accommodate increased frailty or disability of older people into the future.

KEYWORDS:

ageing; cohort study; community; housing; independent living

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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