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Perceived aspects of home, health and well-being among people in Sweden aged 67-70 years


Summary, in English

Introduction: The fact that the majority of older people
wish to remain and live independently in their current homes calls for a more
comprehensive understanding of which aspects of the home support healthy
ageing. Perceived aspects of home influence life satisfaction, perceived
health, independence in daily activities and well-being among people aged 80
years and older. However, health and perceived aspects of home among senior
citizens in earlier phases of the ageing process are scarcely studied.

Aims: The overarching aim of this thesis was to
extend and deepen the current knowledge of the dynamics of perceived aspects of
home and health among people aged 67-70 years, living in ordinary housing in
southern Sweden. Meaning of home, external housing-related control beliefs and
usability were investigated in relation to physical and mental symptoms,
depressive mood and psychological well-being. In addition, the complexity of
these dynamics and what it means to people as they age was explored from an individual

Methods and Results: The thesis is based on survey data
collected with 371 participants recruited from the SNAC-GÅS study, and in-depth
interviews with a new sample (N=13). Participants were aged 67 – 70 years and
lived in ordinary housing in southern Sweden. Data was collected through home
visits. Descriptive statistical analyses revealed significant differences among
subgroups in regards to the likelihood of reporting physical and mental
symptoms, depressive mood and psychological well-being (autonomy and purpose in
life) (Studies I & III). Multivariable linear and logistic regression
models showed that participants reporting positive evaluations of perceived
aspects of home reported fewer physical and mental symptoms (Study II), had
better psychological well-being and reported less depressive mood (Study III).
Analyses of in-depth interviews (Study IV) revealed that perceptions about home
become progressively important after retirement. In addition, not only the
immediate home environment but also local neighborhoods influence perceptions
of home. These analyses also revealed that home brings emotional and social
benefits but also worries about how to cope with complex ambivalence when
reflecting upon the future housing career.

Conclusions: Bringing together results from quantitative
and qualitative research, this thesis shows that perceptions about home are
associated with health and well-being already at age 67-70. The findings
highlight that health implications of housing are not restricted to physical
attributes of the home such as housing standard or environmental barriers;
consideration should also be given to perceived aspects of home. In health care
and social services practice contexts, being aware of and being able to recognize
these factors might support older people to maintain health along the process
of ageing. This knowledge can be used to inform and facilitate societal
planning in terms of housing provision; additionally it is important to
consider designing local neighborhoods to nurture social interactions because
of older persons extended view of home. Finally, to be able to help senior
citizens to deal with their ambivalence when planning for their future housing
arrangements, health care professionals involved in housing-related counseling
need to be aware and approach such worries earlier than is usually done today.






Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series








Lund University: Faculty of Medicine


  • Medical and Health Sciences


  • Younger older people, third age, housing, meaning of home, ageing in place




  • Home, Health and Disability along the Process of Ageing


  • Active and Healthy Ageing Research Group
  • National Graduate School on Ageing and Health


  • ISSN: 1652-8220
  • ISBN: 978-91-7619-641-0


1 juni 2018




Hörsal 1, Health Science Centre, Baravägen 3 i Lund


  • Merril Silverstein (professor)