Home Modifications: Use, Cost, and Interactions with Functioning Among Near-Elderly and Older Adults

TitleHome Modifications: Use, Cost, and Interactions with Functioning Among Near-Elderly and Older Adults
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFreedman, VA
KeywordsHealthcare, Housing

Recent studies suggest a potentially large role for assistive home features in the daily lives of older adults. Yet surprisingly little current and generalizable information has been available to policy makers to allow them to investigate who has assistive home features, who has added these features and at what cost, who actually uses such features, and who potentially needs such features but has not put them into place. The 2005 Pilot Study of Technology and Aging was funded by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in cooperation with the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Institute on Aging to develop measures of the home environment and assistive technology use for national health and aging surveys (Freedman, Agree, and Cornman 2005; Freedman, Agree, and Landsberg 2006; Freedman, Agree, and Cornman 2006b). A subset of these items was included in the 2006 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) as an experimental module. In this report we analyze the 2006 HRS Home Modification Module (N=1,512) to describe the range of assistive home features for near-elderly and older adults (born 1953 or earlier; ages 52 and older in 2006). Research Questions. Four questions are addressed: (1) To what extent do near-elderly and older adults live in homes with assistive features and to what extent have they added and do they use such features (alone and in combination with personal care). (2) What is the distribution of out-of-pocket costs for adding assistive features and to what extent do insurance and government programs contribute. (3) How does the existence, addition, and use of assistive home features vary for demographic groups. Are these differences accounted for by differences in economic or health-related factors. (4) To what extent are near-elderly and older adults at risk for home modification sthat is, what percentage of near-elderly and older adults have low functioning, yet do not have relevant assistive home features and what is the demographic and socioeconomic makeup of this group. Data and Methods. Respondents to the 2006 HRS Home Modifications Module were asked about ten assistive home features: ramps at the entrance, handrails at the entrance (asked if the respondent has to step up or down to get into home), an emergency call system, grab bars in the shower or tub area, a seat for the shower or tub, grab bars around the toilet, a raised or modified toilet seat, a stair glide or chair lift to go up or down stairs (asked if the respondent has living space on more than one floor), handrails in the stairways (if the respondent has living space on more than one floor), and handrails in the hallways.

URLhttp://sfx.lib.umich.edu:9003/sfx_local?sid=CSA 3Antis-set-candpid= 3CAN 3EPB2010103706 3C 2FAN 3E 26 3CRP 3EPB2010103706 3C 2FRP 3E 26 3CPY 3E2008 3C 2FPY 3E 26 3CAU 3EFreedman 2C 20VA 3B 20Agree 2C 20EM 3C 2FAU 3Eanddate=2008-10-10andgenre=bookandaulast
Endnote Keywords

Assistive home features/Home modifications/Assistive technology

Endnote ID


Citation Key5283