The goal of this study was to evaluate the requirements associated with caring for the aged at home impose on people's living environment and how well people's homes are suited to the home care provided by health care providers. Particular attention was given to bathrooms and toilets, as the ability to use these facilities independently or with assistance is often considered a prerequisite for living at home. The research material was collected with help of four smaller studies that made use of questionnaires, interviews, and on-the-spot observation, and involved the construction and testing of model facilities. Home care was evaluated in people's homes and a survey made of problem areas in the home from the care standpoint. These factors were compared to the suitability of the facilities in institutional locations. As there is no consensus regarding the space requirements associated with this type of care, this study defines a set of requirements appropriate for people in rehabiliatory care. The dimensional requirements of these facilities were developed and tested using specially built models, which were also used to develop a model bathroom and toilet matching these dimensions. A fully equipped model space was built in a care unit for the aged, where its functionality was assessed from the standpoint of practical living and care needs. Residents' bathrooms and toilets, together with their small bedrooms, as well as the routes that people must follow when moving between these spaces, are often too cramped or restricted, both for mobility aids and care needs. As the majority of care is needed in residents' bathrooms and toilets, working in these areas tends to put the heaviest burden on care-givers. It was found that these spaces in institutional facilities for care purposes often do not live up to the needs of residents using walkers and other aids or the staff caring for them. As a result, they proved unsuitable as a basis for a planning model. Bathrooms and toilets emerged as a key area that require improvement and were the focus of the third sub-study. By testing model spaces, it proved possible to define a set of space requirements suitable for both care needs and residents' own independent needs, and establish suitable dimensions for this type of space. The research findings were used to develop a model bathroom and toilet space that meets the needs of residents using aids such as walkers and wheelchairs and those of care-givers. The suitability of homes and the immediate environment for people using mobility aids and improving the functionality of bathrooms and toilets are key factors in making it easier for people to live at home and for home care to be a success. New buildings should take better account of the space requirements associated with aged people or others with limited mobility, as well as the space needed by care-givers, than current planning guidelines. The bathrooms and toilets in existing homes are generally more cramped than those in the model space developed for this study. Ideally, they should be capable of being adapted in areas such as toilet seats, washbasins, and showers to make it easier for people to look after themselves at home. The functionality of such modifications should be tested prior to them being made on a wide basis. Well-designed spaces can help improve residents' ability to look after themselves and simplify the work of care-givers when assistance is called for.
|Translated title of the contribution||Kuntouttavan hoivatyön vaatimukset ikäihmisten asunnoille|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|MoE publication type||G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)|
- ikäihmisten asunnot
- kuntouttava hoitotyö