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Type: Journal article
Title: The living environment and thermal behaviours of older South Australians: a multi-focus group study
Author: van Hoof, J.
Bennetts, H.
Hansen, A.
Kazak, J.
Soebarto, V.I.
Citation: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2019; 16(6):935-1-935-19
Publisher: MDPI AG
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 1660-4601
Statement of
Joost van Hoof, Helen Bennetts, Alana Hansen, Jan K. Kazak and Veronica Soebarto
Abstract: Ageing brings about physiological changes that affect people’s thermal sensitivity and thermoregulation. The majority of older Australians prefer to age in place and modifications to the home environment are often required to accommodate the occupants as they age and possibly become frail. However, modifications to aid thermal comfort are not always considered. Using a qualitative approach this study aims to understand the thermal qualities of the existing living environment of older South Australians, their strategies for keeping cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather and to identify existing problems related to planning and house design, and the use of heating and cooling. Data were gathered via seven focus group sessions with 49 older people living in three climate zones in South Australia. The sessions yielded four main themes, namely ‘personal factors’, ‘feeling’, ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’. These themes can be used as a basis to develop information and guidelines for older people in dealing with hot and cold weather.
Keywords: Seniors; older adults; temperature; elderly; housing; thermal sensation; thermal comfort; building services engineering; public health
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph16060935
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