Common spaces in assisted living for older persons. Aspects of usability from the residential and workplace perspectives.
Doktorsavhandling, 2013

This thesis is about space. It assumes that space forms a necessary part of the structure of existence. The architectural space becomes an existential space in the encounter with the user. Common unit spaces in assisted living (AL) for older persons are the principal venue for social interaction and have no parallel in ordinary housing. The usability of these spaces is discussed here from the residential and workplace perspectives. These perspectives are explored in relation to the concept of AL and involve residents, staff and other stakeholders in buildings in use. Special housing for older people is currently in focus worldwide due to demographic develop-ments, entailing an increasing proportion of older people. Residents in AL are increasingly old and multi-diseased, which changes the conditions for residential care in its present form. Four methods were used, involving 14 AL facilities (ALFs) in Sweden: observations, group interviews, individual interviews and self-completion questionnaires. An explorative strategy was adopted, combining qualitative and quantitative methods to enhance the validity of the results. The results were analysed using statistical analyses, Qualitative Content Analysis (QCA) and triangulation. The results show functional demarcations between apartments, dining rooms, sitting rooms and kitchens in a private-public continu¬um, with varying adherence to the respective residential and workplace perspectives. It also shows that these perspectives entail diverging objectives for use of the common spaces. The dining rooms were utilized most by the residents, but the kitchens were not used at all. The daily activities promote a focus on collective aspects above individual needs. The increasing use of assistive technology causes space shortages and suggests a mismatch between the actual users and the users conceptualised at the planning stage, which entails a focus on care aspects at the expense of the residential perspective. It shows that the common spaces are not perceived as a part of the home environment; rather an addition. The dementia and somatic units presented diverging objectives for use, but the physical environ-ments did not differ significantly. The functions of the common spaces were perceived differently among users, planners and architects. This suggests that these spaces have ambiguous meanings in a social context and may lead to ineffective use of the spaces. Along with a complicated body of regulations, this calls for a redefinition of AL. Design strategies are suggested that are more up-to-date with the users’ needs in relation to the usability of the common spaces. The residential and workplace perspectives have to be considered concomitantly when planning ALFs, otherwise inherent conflicts will become manifest as a result of the physical design, which affects usability.

social interaction

usability

residential and workplace perspectives

user involvement

buildings in use

mixed methods

Hörsal A4
Opponent: Catharina Nord

Författare

Morgan Andersson

Chalmers, Arkitektur

Ett besök på Trädgårdsgatans äldreboende - en anhörig reflekterar

Abramsson, Marianne et al ed. Rum för Åldrande - Essäer om äldres boende. Linköping University.,; (2010)p. 50-55

Kapitel i bok

Participant Observation Study of Use and Usability on five Assisted Living Facilities for the Old in Gothenburg Sweden

ENHR 2010, 4-7 July, ISTANBUL, 22nd International Housing Research Conference. WS-15: HOUSING AND LIVING CONDITIONS OF AGEING POPULATIONS. Conference proceedings,; (2010)p. 1-14

Paper i proceeding

Use and Usability of Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly. An observation study in Gothenburg Sweden.

Journal of Housing for the Elderly,; Vol. 25(2011)p. 380-400

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Avhandlingen diskuterar användbarheten av de gemensamma utrymmena i särskilt boende för äldre utifrån ett boende- och arbetsplatsperspektiv i ett sammanhang där allt sjukare och äldre individer förändrar förutsättningarna för särskilt boende i sin nuvarande form. Resultaten baseras på observat-ioner, gruppintervjuer, enskilda intervjuer och enkäter och visar att funktionella avgränsningar mellan lägenheterna och de gemensamma utrymmena - matrum, vardagsrum och kök innebär olika grader av användning och olika relationer i förhållande till boende- och arbetsplatsperspektiven. De gemen-samma utrymmena uppfattas inte primärt som en del av hem-miljön, utan snarare som ett tillägg utan motsvarighet i ordinärt boende, samtidigt som olika uppfattningar om de gemensamma utrym-menas funktioner bland boende, personal, anhöriga och andra aktörer tyder på att rummen har en oklar betydelse vilket i sin tur innebär oklara planeringsförutsättningar. Avhandlingen visar på en diskrepans mellan de planerade funktionerna och den faktiska användningen på grund av ökat vård- och hjälpbehov bland de äldre, vilket visas av användningen av tekniska hjälpmedel som orsakar platsbrist och innebär ett ökat fokus på vårdaspekterna - på bekostnad av boendeperspektivet. Resultaten visar en signifikant högre grad av användning på demensavdelningarna, där också kontroll och överblick framträder också som viktigare, medan utformningen av de gemensamma utrymmena i studien uppvisar mycket små variationer.

Styrkeområden

Building Futures

Ämneskategorier

Byggproduktion

Arkitektur

Omvårdnad

ISBN

978-91-7385-937-0

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 3618

Hörsal A4

Opponent: Catharina Nord