Needs, benefits, and issues related to home adaptation: a user-centered case series applying a mixed-methods design

C. Schorderet*, C. Ludwig, F. Wuest, C.H.G. Bastiaenen, R.A. de Bie, L. Allet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Introduction Home adaptation can be a key contributor to successfully aging at home, allowing older adults to remain in a familiar environment while maintaining their quality of life and well-being despite progressing functional difficulties. Although several theoretical studies on home adaptations exist, the benefits of custom home adaptations remain poorly evaluated. The present study's primary aims were to explore older adults' expectations and needs regarding home adaptations and evaluate the impact of individualized home adaptations on quality of life, fear of falling, independence, and difficulties using adapted rooms. Its secondary aim was to describe the barriers and facilitators of home adaptation. Method The 15 homes in this case series were adapted using an inclusive, interdisciplinary approach. Adaptations' effects were assessed using a parallel mixed-methods design. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected using questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. An architect and a health professional visited each home twice to assess the older adult's expectations and needs, evaluate the home's technical aspects, and co-create an adaptation plan with that study participant. They assessed the older adult's perceived quality of life, fear of falling, independence, and difficulties using the rooms needing adaptations. Inhabitants received two more visits after the adaptations (one or two months and six months later) to assess their benefits. Results Most homes had their bathroom adapted. Participants reported improved safety, independence, ease of use, positive feelings, and comfort. They also reported lower perceived levels of difficulties during the activities of daily living in the adapted rooms (reductions of 93.4% [SD = 12.7] of bathrooms and 100% of kitchens), an improvement in quality of life of 9.8% (SD = 27.6), and a reduction in fear of falling of 12.5% (SD = 9.7). Conclusion Home adaptations are beneficial to older adults' activities of daily living and improve their quality of life; however, several factors hinder the implementation of those adaptations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number526
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022


  • Older adults
  • Aging in place
  • Home adaptation

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