Accessibility and Depression (11-06-20)

Older individuals whose homes are more accessible are less likely to feel depressed, according to a recently published study.  Vitman-Schorr and colleagues identified, via interviewing people over 65 years old, “a direct negativeeffect between perceived accessibility and depressive symptoms. . . . The findings indicate that policy makers and professionals working with older adults should seek methods for enhancing both accessibility and social relationships in order to alleviate the depressive symptoms of older adults.”  The researchers shared that “Perceived accessibility was measured by asking respondents the following question: ‘How satisfied are you with the options you have to go from place to place?’ . . . The question . . . provides an overall understanding of the perceived accessibility of the environment without asking multiple questions concerning modes of mobility . . . that may corrupt the results. For instance, if an older adult has walking problems but the living environment is well-served by public transportation, the person-environment fit might be high and hence satisfaction from the living environment might be high.”

Adi Vitman-Schorr, Liat Ayalon, and Snait Tamir.  “The Relationship Between Satisfaction with the Accessibility of the Living Environment and Depressive Symptoms.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, in press,