Housing accessibility for senior citizens in Sweden: Estimation of the effects of targeted elimination of environmental barriers.

Research paper by Cecilia C Pettersson, Björn B Slaug, Marianne M Granbom, Marianne M Kylberg, Susanne S Iwarsson

Indexed on: 25 Jan '17Published on: 25 Jan '17Published in: Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy


To estimate the effects of targeted elimination of environmental barriers (EB) in the ordinary housing stock in Sweden, and to explore the estimated effects on accessibility at a population level in relation to (a) residents with different functional profiles, (b) different housing types and (c) building periods.Data on dwellings from existing Swedish research databases were utilized. EB and accessibility were assessed by means of the Housing Enabler instrument. In simulations of EB removal, five items that correspond to the most common housing adaptations were selected. The simulations were applied to four functional profiles of different complexity.EB known to be commonly removed by housing adaptations exist in large proportions of the existing ordinary housing stock. Estimated targeted elimination of selected barriers would have the largest accessibility effects for the more complex functional profiles. The effects would be consistently larger for one-family houses, and for all types of dwellings built before 1960.The elimination of the EB most commonly addressed by housing adaptations could result in a reduction of the housing accessibility problems that community-living older people are facing. For society to solve the housing situation for the ageing population well-informed and efficient upgrading of ordinary housing is imperative.