Good housing solutions are important for the ageing population in order to promote health and maintain functional ability. The objective of this study was to investigate whether and how objective and perceived aspects of housing were related to perceived health among ADL independent and ADL dependent groups of older, single-living people within three national samples.
The current study was based on national samples (German, n = 450; Latvian, n = 303; Swedish, n = 397) from the European ENABLE-AGE Project, using data on ADL dependence, perceived health, objective and perceived aspects of housing. Descriptive statistics, correlations and multivariate ordinal regression models were used to analyze the data.
The participants in the ADL dependent groups generally were older, had more functional limitations and perceived their health as poorer compared to ADL independent groups. With regard to perceived housing, usability as well as meaning of home indicators was often lower in the ADL dependent groups, housing satisfaction was at the same level while housing-related external control beliefs were higher. The differences among the national samples were highly significant for both ADL groups, for all variables except number of outdoor environmental barriers in the ADL independent groups. The relations between perceived health on one hand and objective and perceived aspects of housing on the other show great diversities among the ADL groups and the national samples.
The results serve to alert health care practitioners that it is important to draw attention to how older people perceive their housing situation and to the fact that different levels of functional independence demand different interventions.