Fostering interprofessional collaboration in home design for older adults

by Monique Chabot

Institution: Boston University
Year: 2014
Record ID: 2027140
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2144/10958


Universal design and the concept of"aging in place" is becoming an increasingly important topic as the Baby Boomers are growing older. Remaining at home helps older adults stay connected to their communities and social supports as well as maintain a sense of dignity and autonomy. Recent research demonstrates that aging in place is important for the health and well being of older adults; yet many communities are not equipped to handle the growing number of older adults, nor provide environments suited to meet the needs of an aging person. In addition, current older adults express a desire to remain at home and choose the time and place of a move, if necessary. Despite a desire to age in place, older adults are living in environments unsuited to their needs due to decreased likelihood to have completed necessary home modifications to increase their independence at home. This doctoral project intends to address the lack of interprofessional collaboration between occupational therapists, architects, contractors, handymen, and interior designers when designing living environments for older adult. Interprofessional collaboration has been proven effective for increasing positive outcomes for the client; and websites are an effective method of advocating for a profession and educating others on specific issues. This project utilizes an educational website with an interactive blog in order to provide education for the home design professionals on each professions' respective roles in aging in place. The website also intends to facilitate discussion on various home features, the roles of the different professions, garner interest in home design for older adults, and lead to the creation of interprofessional teams to design living environments that allow people to age in place.