Introduction

In the near future it is expected that nearly a quarter of the population will be older than 65 years, and at present housing provision in Europe is insufficient to meet the needs and expectations of senior citizens. For example, many people ageing with disabilities live in dwellings with stairs at the entrance, without elevators, and also with many environmental barriers in the immediate outdoor surroundings. Work-package 2 of the INNOVAGE project aims to support older people to compare and evaluate housing options with regard to accessibility issues.The outcome will be a new computer-based tool that will raise the awareness for appropriate housing in old age, and empower senior citizens to become more actively involved in decision-making in the context of housing provision. Making use of a scientifically recognized methodology for accessibility assessments, the new tool will target housing environments and their immediate surroundings based on modern, user-friendly information and communication technology. During development and testing of the new computer-based tool, older people in several European countries will be closely engaged as intended end users, but also public stakeholders involved in housing construction and housing provision will take an active part in the process. Ultimately, the work-package aims to have an impact on housing policies and housing provision practices across Europe.

For results from the research please visit the "findings" section via the menu on the left.

For regular progress updates, please see the presentations from each of the INNOVAGE Forums:

Methodology

Led by Lund University in Sweden, with research expertise from German, Italian and Latvian partners, this WP will start by generating knowledge on how senior citizens in different European countries express their needs and expectations regarding housing options. Based on existing state-of-the-art methodology for housing accessibility assessments (already available in eight European languages), with this WP we will develop and pilot a social innovation to promote well-being and QoL in old age with the potential to scale up across Europe.

We will use the existing Housing Enabler methodology as the platform for the development of a novel ICT-based interactive and user-driven service. This methodology is currently the most robust scientific tool for accessibility assessment.

Strategic objectives

  • To operationalise the notion of person-environment fit and its scientifically proven significance for well-being and quality of life along the life course.
  • To actively involve senior citizens in housing provision, ultimately changing such practices across Europe.
  • To empower senior citizens to take on a more active role in housing provision and turn them into more critical consumers, ultimately influencing housing policies and housing provision practices across Europe. This is a prime example of our shared commitment to apply high quality science in the service of human welfare and well-being.

Operational objectives

  • To develop, demonstrate and evaluate a prototype of a novel computerised tool, based on the Housing Enabler methodology, where older people themselves can describe their functional profiles, needs and expectations regarding housing options.
  • To engage closely with older people, as end users, in the evaluation of the prototype tool.

Findings

A summary of findings from a series of research circles is available. These were undertaken to gather knowledge from older people to shape user needs for the computer-based tool for housing assessment.

A article is now available in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 'Cross-National User Priorities for Housing Provision and Accessibility — Findings from the European innovAge Project'.   Authored by partners in Sweden, Germany, Italy and Latvia, the article focuses on the knowledge about needs and expectations about housing options as expressed and prioritised by older people, people ageing with disabilities and professionals.

Please also see a video of the HousingEnabler App in action by clicking here

 

Annual updates

Yearly reports, and final summary of findings, are downloadable below

2013
2014
2015
Summary of findings

 

Funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme
FP7-HEALTH-2012-INNOVATION-1/No 306058

©Copyright INNOVAGE 2013