Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Impact of Home Modification and Adaptation

Peace, S. M and Darton, R. A. (2017). Cross-Cultural Comparison of the Impact of Home Modification and Adaptation. In: Innovation in Aging, Oxford University Press, 1(Supplement) pp. 1034–1035.



The desire of older people to age in place suggests that future-proofing the home environment is fundamental to providing greater person-environment congruence at a time of global ageing. The emerging genHOME network, founded by the UK College of Occupational Therapists, promotes the health and well-being of older and disabled people and their families through the co-ordination and dissemination of international research on home modification or adaptation and housing design. For environmental gerontologists this core resource network grounded in practice and driven by negotiation with users provides an important route for the dissemination of research with application. In this symposium researchers from more developed countries attached to the network use empirical work to debate common research priorities including participatory approaches in countries with diverse housing types, tenure, space standards, modification regulations and funding opportunities. Aiming to inform national and international policy through innovative research there is recognition of diversity in the evidence presented through language and cultural difference, and a need for consistent research methodology and outcome measures. Discussion will address similarities and differences in priorities and invite the audience to debate the value of this initiative and how it can be extended and made more inclusive. The symposium seeks to question how far current understanding of culturally specific home modification/adaptation could lead to wider discussion of more age-inclusive design and architectural practice for new build housing (individual and collective), and to learn from other countries how this relates to population growth in times of climate change questioning person-environment fit.

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