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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 964; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090964

Improved Housing Accessibility for Older People in Sweden and Germany: Short Term Costs and Long-Term Gains

Department of Health Sciences & Centre for Ageing and Supportive Environments (CASE), Lund University, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Interdisciplinary Ageing Research, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Goethe University, 60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics, and Social Sciences of Health, University of Cologne, 50923 Cologne, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Housing and Health)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: ageing society; ADL; housing adaptations; environmental barriers; simulations ageing society; ADL; housing adaptations; environmental barriers; simulations

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Slaug, B.; Chiatti, C.; Oswald, F.; Kaspar, R.; Schmidt, S.M. Improved Housing Accessibility for Older People in Sweden and Germany: Short Term Costs and Long-Term Gains. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 964.

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