Aging in place: functional environments: a survey and case study in Floyd County, Virginia

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Virginia Tech


The problem addressed in this study was: What home modifications are made to residential environments to meet the functional capabilities of the aging in place audience? The study was conducted in two phases. In Phase I 102 Floyd

County, Virginia, adults 65 years of age or older were interviewed in order to identify their task capabilities and identify the modifications being made to meet their environmental needs and task capabilities. Phase II consisted of a case study of six females taken from the Phase I sample group. This section of the study focused on the modifications identified in Phase I, the techniques used, and the reasons they were made.

The findings indicate that 26% of the adults in the study were experiencing difficulty with at least one Activity of Daily Living, 33% were experiencing difficulty with at least one Instrumental Activity of Daily Living. However, like many older adults, these individuals had a relatively high function level and wanted to stay in their home as long as possible. Modifications are being made in order to equalize the participants' function level and the characteristics of the living environment.

Housing education programs should be targeted toward the elderly and their family members and provide more information relating to aging in place. Professionals in housing and related fields should have the knowledge necessary to advise clients on making decisions to help insure their ability to live independently as they age.



home modifications, adaptations