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Maintaining independence through home modifications: a focus on the telephone

Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics

Author: Cream, A. N., Teaford, M. H.
Year: 1999
Type: Journal Article


Many different types of activities can be modified or eliminated in order to maintain older adults independently in their homes, but one activity essential to independence, the use of the telephone by older adults, has not been researched. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether older adults have made changes to their homes in order to make the telephone more accessible and if so, what changes have they made. Reasons for not making modifications are also examined. The sample included 34 older adults, age 65 and older living alone in the community as homeowners and renters. A questionnaire was administered in the homes of participants for whom information was recorded about telephone location. The subjects reported making few modifications to their telephone. Most subjects have three to four telephones. The most common technology related to the telephone used by subjects was an answering machine. The study has implications for physical and occupational therapists working with older homeowners who need to modify their homes in order to continue to live independently.

Further Details

Pages 117-134
Volume 16
Issue 3-4
Accession Number 28.3.03
Keywords older, assistive device, modification

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