Improved housing accessibility for older people in Sweden and Germany : short term costs and long-term gains

  • The physical housing environment is important to facilitate activities of daily living (ADL) for older people. A hindering environment may lead to ADL dependence and thus increase the need for home services, which is individually restricting and a growing societal burden. This study presents simulations of policy changes with regard to housing accessibility that estimates the potential impact specifically on instrumental activities of daily living (I-ADL), usage of home services, and related costs. The models integrate empirical data to test the hypothesis that a policy providing funding to remove the five most severe environmental barriers in the homes of older people who are at risk of developing dependence in I-ADL, can maintain independence and reduce the need for home services. In addition to official statistics from state agencies in Sweden and Germany, we utilized published results from the ENABLE-AGE and other scientific studies to generate the simulations. The simulations predicted that new policies that remove potentially hindering housing features would improve I-ADL performance among older people and reduce the need for home services. Our findings suggest that a policy change can contribute to positive effects with regard to I-ADL independence among older people and to a reduction of societal burden.

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Author:Björn Slaug, Carlos Chiatti, Frank Oswald, Roman Kaspar, Steven M. Schmidt
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):International journal of environmental research and public health
Publisher:MDPI AG
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Date of first Publication:2017/08/26
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2018/01/04
Tag:ADL; ageing society; environmental barriers; housing adaptations; simulations
Issue:9, Art. 964
Page Number:13
First Page:1
Last Page:13
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Institutes:Erziehungswissenschaften / Erziehungswissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 36 Soziale Probleme, Sozialdienste / 360 Soziale Probleme und Sozialdienste; Verbände
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0