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The State of Housing of the Elderly with Vision Impaired and the Its Impacts on Quality of Life

  • Lee, So Young (Department of Housing & Interior Design, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Yoo, Sung Eun (Department of Housing & Interior Design, Kunsan National University)
  • Received : 2015.12.17
  • Accepted : 2016.09.26
  • Published : 2016.12.30

Abstract

People have experienced physical problems including vision problems with aging; some are normal and some are abnormal. When they have abnormal and impaired vision, they have a lower level of life satisfaction than their sighted peers. For the elderly with sight loss, well-designed housing could be an important indicator for their quality of life. Housing adjustment and modification could help the elderly cope with sight loss, do daily activities more independently, and lead to better quality of life. The purpose of this study is to investigate housing conditions for the elderly with vision impaired, state of housing adjustment or modifications, and the effects of housing conditions on the wellness of the elderly in Korea. For this study, 18 housing cases were investigated and a total number of 65 visually impaired people aged over 55 participated. Housing condition of those participated was poor. Most observed home hazards are level differences in living areas, obstacles in the hallway, confined space that is not allowed structural modification, swing doors from wardrobe or cabinets, color contrast, poor lightings, and etc. Majority of households participated in this study did not make modification or refurbishments, rather many of them tend to adapt themselves to their residential environments. Older adults living in better housing condition and under less difficult environments are likely to have higher life satisfaction. The effects of housing condition on wellness could be more influential when individual capabilities (e.g. health condition) are weaker. The findings underline that with intervention of individual characteristics, the effects of housing and physical environment on negative outcomes of vision loss would get ameliorated or reduced.

Keywords

Vision Impaired;Housing Condition;Housing Modification;Quality of Life;Elderly

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI)

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