Ageing and Society



The design of caring environments and the quality of life of older people


SARAH  BARNES  a1 c1 and the DESIGN IN CARING ENVIRONMENTS STUDY GROUP  1
a1 School of Architecture, University of Sheffield.

Abstract

There has been little systematic research into the design of care environments for older people. This article reviews empirical studies from both the architectural and the psychological literature. It outlines the instruments that are currently available for measuring both the environment and the quality of life of older people, and it summarises the evidence on the layout of buildings, the sensory environment and the privacy of residents. The conclusion is drawn that all evidence-based design must be a compromise or dynamic and, as demands on the caring environment change over time, this compromise must be re-visited in the form of post-occupancy evaluation.

(Accepted May 18 2002)


Key Words: environment; quality of life; care settings; older people; design.

Correspondence:
c1 Address for correspondence: Sarah Barnes, School of Architecture, Arts Tower, Western Bank, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. e-mail: s.barnes@sheffield.ac.uk.


Footnotes

1 The article has been written on behalf of the ‘Design in Caring Environments Study Group’ : Kevin J. McKee and Christine J. Parker (Sheffield Institute for Studies on Ageing, University of Sheffield, UK), Kevin Morgan (Department of Human Sciences, University of Loughborough, UK), and Judith M. Torrington and Peter R. Tregenza (School of Architecture, University of Sheffield).