Older Adults’ Perceptions on Accessibility in a Senior Cohousing Community

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  • Title: Older Adults’ Perceptions on Accessibility in a Senior Cohousing Community
  • Author(s): Gabriela Fonseca Pereira, Mihyun Kang, Rachel Sample Cavener
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Constructed Environment
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Constructed Environment
  • Keywords: Older Adults, Accessibility, Senior Cohousing, Person-Environment Behavior
  • Volume: 10
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2154-8587 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8595 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8587/CGP/v10i02/9-25
  • Citation: Fonseca Pereira, Gabriela , Mihyun Kang, and Rachel Sample Cavener. 2019. "Older Adults’ Perceptions on Accessibility in a Senior Cohousing Community." The International Journal of the Constructed Environment 10 (2): 9-25. doi:10.18848/2154-8587/CGP/v10i02/9-25.
  • Extent: 17 pages

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the residents’ perceptions of accessibility in a senior cohousing community and to identify interior design features that promote or inhibit accessibility for older adults. Fourteen older adults living in a senior cohousing community located in an urban area in the midwestern United States participated in this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with each participant and questions related to accessibility were asked. Emerging themes from the interviews were analyzed based on the competence-environmental press theory and categorized among four dimensions of accessibility: being able to enter and exit the residence, being able to move from room to room, being able to access features and products, and walkability around the community. The findings showed that the private units provide a different level of accessibility between those that are one or two-story, and also between those that are located on the first or the second floor of the community. The main concern of residents in outdoor spaces is regarding the use of walkways and staircases during the snowy season.