Universal Design in Aging in Place Senior Housing: A Pilot Study of Resident's PerspectivesBy Park, Duncan; Promoting Independence for Older Persons With Disabilities: Selected Papers from the 2006 International Conference on Aging, Disability, and Independence, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 193-202
Publication Date: 2006
Paper addresses the safety, accessibility, functionality, and aesthetic appeal of universal design via a Missouri pilot project for residential living for older adults. Research was conducted at a standard senior living community where residents share public spaces and have individual apartments of various configurations. The design of the building and grounds was a collaborative effort from various medical, environmental design, and health professionals, including occupational therapists. A questionnaire was distributed to residents, as it focused on demographic records and environmental features of the residence. The residential environment was divided into the following categories: (1) entrances, (2) walkways, (3) public spaces, and (4) individual apartments, including kitchens and bathrooms. A Likert scale was used to rate satisfaction with the design of the residential center. The results indicated that universal design could be limited in meeting such a wide range of user needs. The authors contend that occupational therapy is well-suited to developing environments tailored to promoting optimum health, social participation, and personal achievement, as the field can pick up where universal design leaves off. Implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: IOS Press (Website:http://www.iospress.nl)