Beth A. Barstow, Deborah K. Bennett, Laura K. Vogtle; Perspectives on Home Safety: Do Home Safety Assessments Address the Concerns of Clients With Vision Loss?. Am J Occup Ther 2011;65(6):635-642. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2011.001909.
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PURPOSE. We explored the occupational performance and home safety perspectives of older adults with vision loss. Our study focused on the person–environment interaction to ascertain whether participants’ concerns are addressed by three commonly used home safety assessments.
METHOD. Twenty-two older adults with vision loss participated in face-to-face interviews regarding their perspectives on home safety. We compared categories generated from a content analysis of the data with the contents of three standardized home safety assessments.
RESULTS. Five categories of home safety emerged from the analysis: (1) lighting, (2) contrast, (3) visual distractions, (4) glare, and (5) compensation strategies. Comparisons of content in the three home safety assessments with emerged categories revealed that study participants had specific concerns about home safety that were not thoroughly addressed in the selected assessments.
CONCLUSION. The findings provide preliminary content areas that should be included in the development of a home assessment specific to the low vision population.
The Safety Assessment of Function and the Environment for Rehabilitation (SAFER; Oliver, Blathwayt, Brackely, & Tamaki, 1993), which evaluates older adults’ abilities to manage safely within their home environment (Oliver et al., 1993). The assessment contains 97 items divided into two broad areas—home environment (e.g., bathroom) and specific functions (e.g., personal care).
The Westmead Home Safety Assessment (WeHSA; Clemson, Roland, & Cumming, 1992), which was designed to assess home environmental hazards. It includes 72 hazard categories listed in 13 sections pertaining to specific areas of the home (Clemson et al., 1992).
The Housing Enabler (Iwarsson & Isacsson, 1996), a home safety assessment developed from an original ideogram for assessing architectural barriers in official buildings in the United States. The tool contains 188 items assessing accessibility in home environments and the immediate outside surroundings for people with functional limitations.
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