UD and falls prevention in senior housing

Living room with patterned rugs, coffee table, casual chair, arm chair and couch; a standard lamp, picture on the wall, and bookcase. It looks lived in but not a lot of room to move aroundA comprehensive study of home design for ageing in place by Swedish researcher Roya Bamzar provides good design guidance for modifications of existing apartments and new builds. Using the seven principles of universal design in the case study, Bamzar assesses the main rooms in the home: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. The safety features that accrue through applying UD are an important factor in reducing accidents and falls, as well as providing greater convenience and useability. 

Bamzar has used the 1997 original principles of universal design as a metric, but this may not be the most useful guide to measuring outcomes in this case. However, this is an important study in the area of specialised senior housing design and how modifications can improve safety, use of space, and quality of life. Over-furnishing, as shown in the picture, is a problem for many older people who are attached to their belongings and can cause difficulties for moving around the home.

The title of the article is: Assessing the safety and quality of the indoor environment of senior housing: a Swedish case study.

This paper is one of four as a result of Roya Bamzar’s doctoral thesis.