Incidence of home modifications among younger older adults and older old adults
Anglyn, Amanda Lenora
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Home modifications can help elders maintain their independence within the home. Modifications are features that make the home more accessible and safer for residents such as no-step entry, lever handles, and elevated toilet seats. With the number of elders in the United States climbing quickly it is important that housing be able to accommodate elder needs. This study explored whether or not elders are using home modification as an option to help them age in place. Using t-tests, chi-square and logistical regression, younger old adults (those 55 to 70 years old) and older old adults (those 71 years old or older) are compared longitudinally. Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) data were used in conjunction with RAND (research and development) data files to collect information on elders from the years 1996 and 2004. Elders were found to have greater odds of home modification absorption based on previous broken hips or housing condition rather than age itself. Age was not a significant indicator of whether or not elders chose to add modification features. Limitations on home modification data were present and future research on this topic needs to continue.