Home Environment and the Elderly: Objects and Products in Relation to the Physical Factors and Their Incidence on Early Dependence

  • María J. ArayaEmail author
  • Amaya Pavez
  • Isabel Torres
  • Fernanda Ramírez
  • José M. Araya
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


The aging of population at the world level requires more research from different areas, with ergonomics playing an important role due to its multidisciplinary character.

The relation of older adults with their objectual surroundings is specific and marginal in the representation of design. This hinders the basic activities of daily living (ADL) in the home environment. Their physical and cognitive specificities make us ask about and reflect on the factors that interfere with their performance and affect their autonomy, requiring us to promote an inclusive design for older persons.

Because of the above, we value the need to prevent the deterioration of older persons and in this way favor their quality of life and autonomy. Furthermore, it is relevant that the dependence of older persons has a high individual and collective cost that affects a country’s welfare.

Chile is projected for the year 2025 as the region’s most aged country, with around 25% of the people considered as older persons, and a progressive increase of dependent older persons who are added to the structural inequality, so we have a growing older population associated with impoverishment and femininity. Social services approach incipiently this situation, which from the health perspective, the dependence of older persons becomes a sanitary priority.

The present proposal is framed in the first phase of the institutional project of the Universidad de Santiago de Chile, which is aimed at relating the physical (postures and movements) and the cognitive (perception) characteristics of older adults and the transition to dependence, in the ADL. The scientific development of the issue was examined through an INTEGRATIVE REVISION that answered the question: Which are the risk factors in daily life and its objectual environment, which attempt against the posture, anthropometry, and biomechanics of older adult men and women, that have an influence on mild dependence? Two search engines, PUBMED and WOS, were used, and among the results, it is highlighted that physical space must adjust to adapt to the physical, cognitive, and emotional changes caused by natural aging. On the other hand, in various studies it is seen that illumination, the ease of maintaining hygiene, and inappropriate furniture, are constant problems in houses, and this turns more serious with the risk of decreasing memory, among other.


Aging Design for all Healthcare Activities of daily life Ergonomics 



This research has been possible through financial support from VRIDEI at USACH, Universidad de Santiago de Chile. Research Project Nro. 021778AL.


  1. 1.
    MINSAL (2014a) Programa Nacional de Salud de las Personas Adultas Mayores. Ministerio de Salud, Santiago, Chile. Accessed 01 Apr 2018
  2. 2.
    MIDESO (2015) CASEN adultos mayores 2015, Santiago, Chile. Access 29 marzo 2018
  3. 3.
    SENAMA (2009) Estudio Nacional de la Dependencia en las Personas Mayores, Santiago, Chile Accessed 30 Apr 2018
  4. 4.
    Albala y cols (2010) Estudio Nacional de Dependencia en Personas Mayores. Presentación resultados INTA y Microdatos, Santiago, Chile. Accessed 01 Apr 2018
  5. 5.
    Superintendencia de Salud (2008) Dependencia de los adultos mayores en Chile, Santiago, Chile. Accessed 01 Apr 2018
  6. 6.
    MINSAL (2014b) Indicadores básicos de salud chile 2014.Departamento de Estadísticas e Información de Salud, DEIS, Santiago, Chile. Accessed 01 Apr 2018
  7. 7.
    Barthel (1965) Funtional evaluation: Barthel Index. Md State Med J, Santiago, Chile. Accessed 01 Apr 2018
  8. 8.
    Pope AM, Tarlov AR (eds) (1991) Disability in America: toward a national agenda for prevention. National Academies PressGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    OMS (2001) Clasificación Internacional del funcionamiento de la discapacidad y de la salud. España. Accessed 01 Apr 2018
  10. 10.
    IMSERSO (2004) Libro Blanco de la Dependencia. España. Accessed 09 Mar 2018
  11. 11.
    SENAMA (2015) La construcción social de las demencias en las personas mayores de la Región Metropolitana, Chile. Investigación cualitativa en vejez y envejecimiento, Santiago, Chile. Accessed 08 Apr 2018
  12. 12.
    SENAMA (2007) Estudio de Situación de los AM dependientes con pensión asistencial y sus cuidadores domiciliarios.
  13. 13.
    Reggi JP (1943) La buena posturaGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Moreno A (2005) Incidencia de la Actividad Física en el adulto mayor. Revista Internacional de Medicina y Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte, 5(19):222–237.
  15. 15.
    Izquierdo M, Aguado X (1998) Efectos del envejecimiento sobre el sistema neuromuscular. Archivos de Medicina del Deporte 15(66):299–306Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jouvencel MR (2010) El Diseño como cuestión de salud pública. Ediciones Díaz de SantosGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
    Mendes KDS, Silveira RCCP, Galvão CM (2008) Integrative Literature Review: a research method to incorporate evidence in health care and nursing. Rev Texto Contexto 17(4):758–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jung H, Yamasaki M (2016) Association of lower extremity range of motion and muscle strength with physical performance of community-dwelling older women. J Physiol Anthropol 35(1):1–7. Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mattos IE, Do Carmo CN, Santiago LM, Luz LL (2014) Factors associated with functional incapacity in elders living in long stay institutions in Brazil: a cross-sectional study. BMC Geriatrics 14(1):1–9. Scholar
  21. 21.
    Haak M, Fänge A, Iwarsson S, Ivanoff SD (2007) Home as a signification of independence and autonomy: experiences among old Swedish people. Scand J Occup Therapy 14(1):16–24. Scholar
  22. 22.
    Iwarsson S, Horstmann V, Slaug B (2007) Housing matters in very old age - yet differently due to ADL dependence level differences. Scand J Occup Therapy 14(1):3–15. Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lette M, Stoop A, Lemmens LC, Buist Y, Baan CA, De Bruin SR (2017) Improving early detection initiatives: a qualitative study exploring perspectives of older people and professionals. BMC Geriatrics 17(1):1–13. Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nishiwaki Y, Michikawa T, Yamada M, Eto N, Takebayashi T (2011) Knee pain and future self-reliance in older adults: evidence from a community-based 3-year cohort study in Japan. J Epidemiol 21(3):184–190. Scholar
  25. 25.
    Arias-Merino ED, Mendoza-Ruvalcaba NM, Ortiz GG, Velázquez-Brizuela IE, Meda-Lara RM, Cueva-Contreras J (2012) Physical function and associated factors in community-dwelling elderly people in Jalisco, Mexico. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 54(3) Scholar
  26. 26.
    Meltzer H, Bebbington P, Brugha T, McManus S, Rai D, Dennis MS, Jenkins R (2012) Physical ill health, disability, dependence and depression: results from the 2007 national survey of psychiatric morbidity among adults in England. Disabil Health J 5(2):102–110. Scholar
  27. 27.
    Millán-Calenti JC, Tubío J, Pita-Fernández S, González-Abraldes I, Lorenzo T, Fernández-Arruty T, Maseda A (2010) Prevalence of functional disability in activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and associated factors, as predictors of morbidity and mortality. Arch Gerontol Geriatr 50(3):306–310. Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sims T, Holmes TH, Bravata DM, Garber AM, Nelson LM, Goldstein MK (2008) Simple counts of ADL dependencies do not adequately reflect older adults’ preferences toward states of functional impairment. J Clin Epidemiol 61(12):1261–1270. Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kamitani K, Michikawa T, Iwasawa S, Eto N, Tanaka T, Takebayashi T, Nishiwaki Y (2013) Spinal posture in the sagittal plane is associated with future dependence in activities of daily living: a community-based cohort study of older adults in Japan. J Gerontol Series A Biol Sci Med Sci 68(7):869–875. Scholar
  30. 30.
    Nurul Shahida MS, Siti Zawiah MD, Case K (2015) The relationship between anthropometry and hand grip strength among elderly Malaysians. Int J Ind Ergon 50:17–25. Scholar
  31. 31.
    Orrell A, McKee K, Torrington J, Barnes S, Darton R, Netten A, Lewis A (2013) The relationship between building design and residents’ quality of life in extra care housing schemes. Health Place 21:52–64. Scholar
  32. 32.
    Reis P, Moro A, Bins Ely V, Fernandes C, Vilagra J, Peres L, Fogaça Junior O, Merino E (2013) Universal design and accessibility: an approach of the influence of muscle strength loss in the risk of falls in the elderly. Work, 41(suppl. 1):374–379
  33. 33.
    Boström G, Conradsson M, Rosendahl E, Nordström P, Gustafson Y et al (2014) Functional capacity and dependency in transfer and dressing are associated with depressive symptoms in older people. Clin Interventions Aging 9:249–257.
  34. 34.
    Li K, Hewson DJ, Duchêne J, Hogrel JY (2010) Predicting maximal grip strength using hand circumference. Manual Therapy 15(6):579–585. Scholar
  35. 35.
    Auyeung TW, Lee JSW, Kwok T, Woo J (2011) Physical frailty predicts future cognitive decline - a four-year prospective study in 2737 cognitively normal older adults. J Nutr Health Aging 15(8):690–694. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de Santiago de ChileEstación CentralChile
  2. 2.ELISAVA ResearchELISAVABarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Universitat Internacional de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations