The perception of elderly respondents to the interior features of sheltered housing
As most elderly people are believed to spend the majority of their time indoors, the physical interior environment is likely to be of particular importance to them. Research relating to the concerns of elderly people and their perceptions has been subject to significant growth in recent times. This study, then, is concerned with acquiring knowledge of elderly people’s perceptions toward sheltered housing design. The principal aims are to examine and apply multi-methodologies to improve the effectiveness of data gathered from elderly respondents and to understand their perceptions of the interior environments they inhabit. Moreover, the purpose of the study is to determine the relative importance that the elderly attach to the various key interior elements and spatial areas within a sheltered housing scheme, in order to facilitate an improvement in these schemes as a whole. Initially, this thesis provides an introduction briefly explaining the motivation and background of the study along with the research aims and objectives. The related academic literature is then presented along with an outline of the background of each method used. Following this, the main research is detailed describing the four different methods, namely: Visual Record survey, Sketch Map survey, Detailed Recall survey and User-centred Conversational Tour, which are subsequently integrated with the goal of achieving more accurate and reliable results. Furthermore, the findings of the study established the priority of selected interior elements and spatial areas within the recent sheltered housing scheme, as assessed by elderly subjects. The design issues were summarised as the subjects’ perceptions of sheltered housing arrangements and their spatial design preferences. Indeed, they provide a provisional check list for the future design of residential environments for the elderly or modifications to existing facilities. In addition, the study provides a basic understanding of how elderly people observe unfamiliar spaces. More specifically, the results could be used to establish budget priorities relative to the building of new sheltered accommodation and should certainly be considered in the design or modification of residential environments for the elderly. The research was carried out by De Montfort University and in association with Leicester City Council Housing Department (LCC Housing Department). It was an investigation into elderly persons' perceptions of the interior environments of sheltered housing, with the intention of improving contemporary sheltered housing design. The facts presented and views expressed in this thesis are, however, those of the author and not necessarily those of the LCC Housing department.
- PhD