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Ensuring elderly mobility: environmental and safety issues
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies. (HOUSING & SAFETY Research Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8402-842X
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to provide a better understanding of the issues of safe mobility ‎for the elderly population in Sweden. ‎This is achieved first by assessing the geography and patterns of ‎elderly falls at the county level and then by conducting a detailed survey with residents in senior ‎housing to investigate the relationship between indoor and/or outdoor environmental ‎characteristics and elderly safety. Safety is regarded as a multidimensional concept that ‎involves risk of falls, crime victimization and elderly people’s perception of their ‎overall safety. Using a case study approach, the study also assesses the types of outdoor places where most crimes ‎against the elderly take place and the types of places most feared by them. The study ‎adapts a set of qualitative and quantitative methods ‎to capture the nature of the phenomena; trends, patterns and frameworks that support ‎the analysis and implications of the results for both research and practice. The findings show ‎that elderly falls in Sweden vary geographically and exhibit gender, age, environmental, and socio-‎economic differences. The mobility of the older population is influenced by their ‎perceived safety in indoor and outdoor environments. Certain features of apartment layout and furniture arrangement are identified as potential causes of falls. Older adults’ ‎perception of safety exhibits a distance-decay effect from their senior housing building. Distance decay indicates that safety is deemed highest closest to their homes and decreases as the distance increases. There are indications that older adults take longer routes and increase their mobility because they are fearful at certain spots in their neighbourhood. The thesis ‎concludes with a discussion of the results and implications for both research and policy making at the local and ‎county levels. ‎

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. , 40 p.
Series
TRITA-SOM, ISSN 1653-6126 ; 2017-01
Keyword [en]
Elderly, safe mobility, environment
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-207794ISBN: 978-91-7729-394-1 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7729-459-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-207794DiVA: diva2:1098466
Public defence
2017-06-13, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Sing-Sing, floor 2, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170602

My doctoral project was funded byLars Erik LundbergScholarship Foundation.

Available from: 2017-05-24 Created: 2017-05-24 Last updated: 2017-06-02Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The nature and the geography of elderly injuries in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The nature and the geography of elderly injuries in Sweden
2015 (English)In: GeoJournal, ISSN 0343-2521, E-ISSN 1572-9893, Vol. 80, no 2, 279-299 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study assesses the nature and the geography of elderly injuries in Sweden. The most dominant types of accidents affecting the elderly in their homes and near environments are identified by using county-specific data from 2001 to 2010 followed by a correlation analysis of possible environmental factors underlying patterns of falls among the elderly. Geographical information systems are used to map rates by type. Slipping, tripping and stumbling are the causes of more than half of cases of elderly falls in Sweden, and is more typical in the Northern counties. Findings also show there has been a rise in rates of elderly falls since 2001 in most of the Southern counties, especially in Östergötland and Skåne Counties. Population age and gender affect the ecology of geography of fall rates and counties experiencing long cold winters tend to show higher rates of indoor falls than those with warmer temperature across the year. The article finalizes with a discussion of the results and implication for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015
Keyword
Elderly injury, Geography of fall, Seasonal temperature variation, Spatial patterns, Earth sciences, Planning, Cold winter, Correlation analysis, Elderly falls, Environmental factors, Seasonal temperature variations, Geographic information systems
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-167749 (URN)10.1007/s10708-014-9552-z (DOI)000367615800020 ()2-s2.0-84928376075 (ScopusID)
Note

QC 20150601. QC 20160201

Available from: 2015-06-01 Created: 2015-05-22 Last updated: 2017-05-24Bibliographically approved
2. The regional ecology of elderly falls in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The regional ecology of elderly falls in Sweden
2016 (English)In: GeoJournal, ISSN 0343-2521, E-ISSN 1572-9893, Vol. 81, no 1, 23-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study assesses exploratory the geography of the elderly fall in Sweden in relation to the ecology of the socio-demographic characteristics of the Swedes older population. Kendall Test is used to measure the association between elderly fall rates and demographic, socio-economic characteristics of the population, costs of elderly care and accessibility measures at county level. Results show a number of significant associations: high rates of the elderly fall are associated with high cost of the elderly care but also low rate of elderly fall and good accessibility to basic services (e.g., grocery store, health care and cash machines). The articles finalizes with reflections of the results and suggestions for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2016
Keyword
Ecology of fall, Elderly fall, Geography of fall, Socio demographic variations, Population statistics, Transportation, Accessibility measures, Demographic variations, Elderly falls, Grocery stores, Older population, Socio-demographic characteristics, Socio-economics, Ecology
National Category
Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-188310 (URN)10.1007/s10708-014-9594-2 (DOI)000382785800003 ()2-s2.0-84957552929 (ScopusID)
Note

QC 20160610

Available from: 2016-06-10 Created: 2016-06-09 Last updated: 2017-05-24Bibliographically approved
3. Assessing the safety and quality of the indoor environment of senior housing: A Swedish case study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing the safety and quality of the indoor environment of senior housing: A Swedish case study
2017 (English)In: Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, ISSN 1566-4910, E-ISSN 1573-7772Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The aims of this article are to assess the safety quality of the indoor living environment of senior housing in Hässelgården, Stockholm Municipality (Sweden’s capital), and to suggest improvement strategies. First, the physical indoor environment of older adults is examined via a fieldwork checklist devised in accordance with the principles of universal design (UD). Second, their indoor environment is assessed through a survey that includes subjective questions about seniors’ use of space, experience of falls, and safety perception. Third, the study explores whether the applications of UD in the seniors’ indoor living environment contribute to the understanding of their use of space, experience of falls, and safety perception. Fieldwork inspections and a detailed survey with residents are used as a basis for the empirical analysis. Findings indicate that the living room has the highest UD score compared with those for the kitchen and the bedroom. The elderly spend most of their time in the living room and the kitchen. A low UD score (e.g. kitchen and bedroom) is associated with a higher number of falls but not with low levels of safety perception and use of space. The article concludes with suggestions to improve housing safety of Hässelgården’s senior housing, which may also help prevent falls in the older population elsewhere.

Keyword
Housing design, risk of falls in older adults, Stockholm, perceived environmental safety
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Planning and Decision Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-207814 (URN)
Note

Funder: Lars Erik LundbergScholarship Foundation

QC 20170529

Available from: 2017-05-24 Created: 2017-05-24 Last updated: 2017-05-29Bibliographically approved
4. Elderly Victimization and Fear of Crime in Public Spaces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elderly Victimization and Fear of Crime in Public Spaces
2015 (English)In: International Criminal Justice Review, ISSN 1057-5677, E-ISSN 1556-3855, Vol. 26, no 2, 115-133 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing upon environmental criminology principles and fear of crime literature, this article investigates the types of outdoor places where most crimes against the elderly happen as well as the types of places most feared by them. The study employs an analysis of secondary data, crime mapping, fieldwork, and interviews with residents in a senior housing area in Stockholm, Sweden. Results show that most crime victims were exposed to theft, and all incidents took place in the environment close to the senior housing. Elderly perceived safety follows a “distance decay” from the residence, the safest places being the areas immediately outside the entrance of the senior housing, while the least safe are the deserted areas close to the petrol station. Findings also show that for those who are fairly mobile, the fact that they avoid some places does not necessarily mean their mobility is restricted, as previously expected, but it makes them walk farther. © 2016, 2016 Georgia State University.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2015
Keyword
elderly mobility, outdoor environment, perceived safety, victimization
National Category
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-194675 (URN)10.1177/1057567716639096 (DOI)2-s2.0-84968883527 (ScopusID)
Note

QC 20161115

Available from: 2016-11-15 Created: 2016-10-31 Last updated: 2017-05-24Bibliographically approved

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