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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 96
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and Y. Tsompanakis
Paper 33

Identifying the Effect of an Alternative Environment to Improve the Care of the Elderly in Korea

Y.S. Lee, J.H. Hwang, Y.J. Lim, C.H. Ahn and H.S. Lee

Department of Housing and Interior Design, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
Y.S. Lee, J.H. Hwang, Y.J. Lim, C.H. Ahn, H.S. Lee, "Identifying the Effect of an Alternative Environment to Improve the Care of the Elderly in Korea", in B.H.V. Topping, Y. Tsompanakis, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 33, 2011. doi:10.4203/ccp.96.33
Keywords: aging society, elderly, care environment, user insertion building system, alternative housing preference.

Korea became an "aging society" at the end of 1999 and is expected to become an "aged society" by 2019. An increase in the number of nuclear families and changes in family ethics have decreased the burden of caring for elderly family members in Korea's aging society. However, since the house types have been diversified and the relative ratio of the socially weak classes such as elderly has been increasing, new paradigm of housing supply has become necessary.

This study proposed a strategy to innovate the existing residential environment to realize social integration through maximum natural means by promoting self-reliance and health of the elderly. It focuses on the elderly with building design oriented scope to improve the elderly care environment in the common daily situation in Korea where special housing and welfare residential facilities for the elderly are not developed so well.

In preparation for the aging society, this study suggested residential alternatives suitable for future society by analyzing the survey results about the changes in the responses of the respondents, concerning their residential preferences according to different situations after their retirement, before and after providing relevant information about the aging society. As new innovative alternatives that are quite different from the conventional residential environment were proposed, diverse methods were developed to enhance the understanding of the people. Among them, visual simulation was adopted to promote efficient communication. The major results of this study are as follows: First, conventional detached houses have limits to meet the rapid aging society, and the UIBS (User Insertion Building System) that reflects the desire of the aged people who do not like to move out of their familiar residential area. Especially "alternative housing with care service" and "assisted housing" are expected to be excellent alternatives that will satisfy the two needs of both integration of different generations and aging in place. Second, when both spouses are healthy, "single detached housing" or an "existing apartment" can sufficiently satisfy their needs, but if their health deteriorates, they prefer the innovatively suggested alternative "UIBS" more. Third, in regard to residential location after retirement, after receiving the aging information, only couples showed that they would move from "metropolitan cities" to the "suburbs of cities". Most elderly would prefer the metropolitan cities where medical facilities are well established near their neighbourhood instead of enjoying the merits of a spacious natural environment. Fourth, the analysis of preference for residential size showed the respondents preferred the small size after receiving the information about the aging society. Fifth, there was considerable difference before and after providing the information about the aging society. Sixth, as worries about aging are common to everyone, new alternative measures that prevent isolation at professional care facilities and allow the elderly to receive affordable care services in their familiar environment without leaving their own local communities, the new alternative measures received innovative responses. These results can help us to better understand and cope with the needs of the aging society.

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