Living Independently: Exploring the Experiences of Visually Impaired People Living in Age-Related and Lifetime Housing Through Qualitative Synthesis

Cliona Rooney, Karim Hadjri, Verity Faith, Máirín Rooney, Keith McAllister, Cathy Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study is to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of visually impaired older people living independently at home. Background: As populations are aging globally, there is now an increase in the prevalence of visual impairment. That means for ongoing and future aging-in place strategies that seek to enable older people to remain independent for longer, more attention needs to be given to the needs of those with visual impairment. As people develop visual impairment, they use adaptive strategies including modifying long-term homes or relocating to more suitable accommodation. In the United Kingdom, aging-in-place strategies include employing statutory lifetime home standards (LTHS) in the home or relocating to sheltered housing to live independently with support available if required.Methods: To get a better understanding of the needs of the visually impaired in the home, 12 interviews with six visually impaired occupants of LTHS homes and six from sheltered accommodation were analysed separately using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Secondly, qualitative synthesis was used to further analyse themes generated from both samples before interview results were conceptualised in two superordinate concepts, namely, “negotiating priorities” and “understanding visual impairment.” Results: Participants from both groups had similar needs and were willing to compromise by living with some negative features. Those who coped well with moving utilised various resources. Conclusions: These findings will shed more understanding on providing good quality housing for those with visual impairment wanting to live either independently or within healthcare home environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-71
JournalHealth Environments Research & Design Journal
Volume11
Issue number2
Early online date22 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Sheltered housing
  • Visual impairment
  • Independent Living
  • Lifetime Homes
  • Aging in Place

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