Independent Living of the Elderly in the Home Environment
Katarina GALOF, Nevenka GRIČAR

Objectives. It is a little known fact that just 5% of the elderly aged 65 and more live in institutional settings, all others live at home. The elderly living in the home environment are influenced by many factors: demographic, socio-economic and factors associated with functional status. Equipped with a broad range of strategies, occupational therapists can participate in several areas of addressing this issue. Methods.Among the elderly living at home (N=450), we carried out a quantitative study of the arrangement of the home environment. We investigated the level of independence in performing activities of daily living. With this research, we wanted to check whether there are statistically significant differences in the ergonomics of the home environment among the elderly with varying degrees of independence in their daily activities. Results.The Mann-Whitney test showed statistically significant differences between the genders and independence in carrying out daily activities. The Spearman test showed correlations between environment factors and some activities of daily living. Conclusions.In the home environment, occupational therapists can help the elderly maximise their independence in carrying out daily activities. We can also consult them on improving the quality of life in the home environment. With the help of an occupational therapist, the elderly can assess and plan changes in their existing environments, and enable elderly to perform daily activities and live independently. Keywords: the elderly, environmental factors, daily activities, independence, occupational therapy.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v5n2a2