Importance of the Home Environment for Healthy Aging: Conceptual and Methodological Background of the European ENABLE–AGE Project

Currently in Europe as well as in the United States, an increasing proportion of very old people remain living in their homes despite declines in physical and mental health. This poses new challenges to societal planning and housing development. Strong cognitive and affective ties to the home environment are formed as people age, and, as a consequence, aging in place and preventing relocation are among the strongest needs of older adults as well as their families. Thus, an important goal in health promotion is to create home environments that support healthy aging. The main objective of the European project “Enabling Autonomy, Participation, and Well-Being in Old Age: The Home Environment as a Determinant for Healthy Aging” (ENABLE–AGE) was to examine the home environment and its importance for major components of healthy aging.