Relationships between housing and healthy aging in very old age

Frank Oswald, Hans Werner Wahl, Oliver Schilling, Carita Nygren, Agneta Fänge, Andrew Sixsmith, Judith Sixsmith, Zsuzsa Széan, Signe Tomsone, Susanne Iwarsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

258 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The aim of this work is to examine the relationship between aspects of objective and perceived housing and aspects of healthy aging, defined as independence in daily activities and subjective wellbeing. Furthermore, this research examined the comparability of relationships between housing and healthy aging in the five European countries. Design and Methods: Data were drawn from the ENABLE- AGE Project, from home interviews with a sample of 1,918 very old people aged 75 to 89 years living alone in their own homes in Swedish, German, British, Hungarian and Latvian urban areas. Results: Participants living in better accessible homes, who perceive their home as meaningful and useful, and who think that external influences are not responsible for their housing situation are more independent in daily activities and have a better sense of well-being. Moreover, these results apply to all five national samples. Implications: The findings can widen the perspective when striving for barrier-free building standards, to encompass a holistic approach that takes both objective and perceived aspects of housing into account. Home modification and relocation should not be prescribed, but need to be negotiated with older adults to take into account their personal preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-107
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Accessibility
  • Environmental gerontology
  • Home
  • Person-environment fit
  • Well-being

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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