Removing Environmental Barriers in the Homes of Older Adults with Disabilities Improves Occupational Performance

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Abstract

The current study examines the effectiveness of an occupational therapy home modification intervention program by examining differences in self-reported occupational performance before and after intervention in a population of community-dwelling older adults with disabilities. An occupational therapy intervention was provided in the homes of 16 older adults with functional limitations. The intervention included changing the existing space by the provision of adaptive equipment and making architectural modifications (including major remodeling) to the home. No remediative treatment was provided. The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure was used to measure satisfaction and performance in daily activities in the home before and after home modification intervention. Overall, the mean scores on the satisfaction and performance subscales indicated an improvement in performance and satisfaction with occupational performance. The average number of barriers in each home was 4.7. An average of only 2.5 barriers were solved during the intervention. The removal of environmental barriers from the homes of older adults who have functional limitations can significantly improve their occupational performance and their satisfaction with their ability to perform everyday activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-39
Number of pages8
JournalOTJR Occupation, Participation and Health
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

Keywords

  • Environment
  • Home modifications
  • Occupational performance

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