Residential Interior Environments of Retired Government Employees in Thailand
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The purpose of this study was to explain the safety and usability problems in the residential interior environment of Thai older adults. A sample of 163 retired government employees who live in Bangkok, Thailand were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire which included questions about housing characteristics, interior environment features, personal information, health condition, and activity level. The mean age of the older adults was 68.1 and ranged from 60 to 93 years. The data were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, and means as descriptive statistics and one-way analyses of variance. The findings revealed that most of the Thai older adults had lived in their own two story detached houses more than ten years and with their family members. The majority of the respondents had vision problems, but almost all could easily perform activities of daily living by themselves and half of them could easily perform instrumental activities of daily living by themselves. Problematic interior environmental features in each area of the home were identified and prioritized. When respondents were divided by age group, significant differences appeared in the degree of difficulty with two safety and usability features in the home. Divided by daily activity levels, respondents revealed significant differences in the degree of difficulty associated with eight safety and usability features. When the homes were broken down to five categories: entrance and stairs, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and other interior features of the house, it was these other interior features that seemed to have the most problems in safety and usability. The kitchen had the most problems in safety and usability when compared to other rooms. Based on these findings, design recommendations for Thai housing were developed.
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