Home Design For Living Blog

On the New International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home

A new publication has just become available – by Susan J. Smith, Marja Elsinga, Lorna Fox O’Mahony, Ong Seow Eng, Susan Wachter, editors. International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home, Oxford: Elsevier; 2012.

Bronwyn Tanner, an Occupational Therapist in Qld, has written a chapter in the encyclopedia and will provide you with an overview of her work in this publication through this blog.

2 Responses

  1. Bronwyn Tanner

    If you have the opportunity to look at the contents page of the International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home, you will quickly realise that it is an extensive and very broad inter-disciplinary collection of writing. The invitation to contribute a chapter on the meaning of home for older people was issued in 2009 and Desleigh De Jonge, Tammy Aplin and I took up the challenge to condense quite a large body of knowledge into the requirements of the publication.
    The chapter we submitted draws on the work done in the area of gerontology, environmental psychology and ( more recently) occupational therapy and covers briefly a model of considering home as a place of physical personal, social and temporal experiences. The chapter highlights how a relationship is created between the individual and their dwelling through transactions at the level of action or doing (engaging in activities, tasks, routines, rituals) and at the level of meaning or being (our sense of personal existence).
    The chapter then explores the domains of meaning from a physical, personal, social and temporal perspective. The physical experience of home encompasses the design layout & amenity of the dwelling as well as creating a sense of demand or press on the person who is ageing. The personal home reflects meanings of control, safety, security, identity and belonging that are associated with the relationship of the older person to their home environment. The social home explores the importance of relationships and social roles that are linked with our experience of home. Finally home is experienced in the temporal context of cyclical and linear time, the rituals & routines that create the temporal order of home.

  2. Tammy Aplin

    The chapter on the meaning of home for older people in the Encyclopaedia of Housing and Home provides a wonderful overview of aspects of the home environment which are meaningful for our clients and those which we should consider in home modification practice. We as occupational therapists need to be aware of these important aspects for our clients, working with these we can provide modifications which enhance our clients experience of home. These aspects are also well discussed in Bronwyn Tanner’s chapter “The Home Environment” from Liz Ainsworth’s and Desleigh de Jonge’s text “An Occupational Therapists Guide to Home Modification Practice”. Drawing on Bronwyn’s work, and others from the fields of gerontology, environmental psychology, architecture, and occupational therapy my PhD project has involved a literature review and qualitative study investigating the important dimensions of home which impact on home modification decision making and that are impacted by home modifications.

    The findings have revealed six dimensions of home the physical, social, personal, temporal, occupational and societal dimension which are important for consideration during home modification practice. The societal dimension was identified in the findings as a particularly powerful dimension of home in relation to home modification practice. Issues such as funding, Australian public access standards and organisational resources and guidelines were identified to influence home modification practice. Using these findings the research team is working to develop a measurement instrument for home modifications which measures the dimensions of home pre and post modifications, and client’s satisfaction with the home modification and its process. It is hoped that this tool will provide occupational therapists with a relevant instrument to evaluate home modifications. I hope to make further information available as publications become available and the tool is further developed.

Leave a Comment