Age-friendliness of living environments from the older person’s viewpoint: development of the Age-friendly Environment Assessment Tool

Ian Garner*, Carol Holland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


according to the World Health Organisation, the role of the environment for older adults is to maintain and facilitate independence and promote quality of life. However, measures that examine the environment in terms of its potential impact on older people are either oriented towards specific aspects of the environment, specifically designed for community-level assessment rather than individually oriented, or are unwieldy for everyday use.

this article describes the development and validation of the Age-friendly Environment Assessment Tool (AFEAT), assessing whether individual function and frailty impact on perceptions of environmental age-friendliness. The extent to which such perceptions may have moderate impacts of frailty on outcomes such as need for care support, quality of life and loneliness is examined.

a total of 132 participants aged 58–96 were recruited from retirement villages and local communities in the Midlands of the UK. Participants completed the AFEAT, and a series of measures designed to assess frailty and assessments of quality of life, loneliness and perceptions of functional limitations.

internal reliability assessment indicated that the AFEAT possesses a Cronbach’s Alpha score of 0.745. The AFEAT significantly predicted quality of life and loneliness, accounting for 17.1% and 5.8% of variance respectively, indicating high concurrent and predictive validity. Furthermore, the AFEAT moderated the predictive strength of frailty in predicting the amount of formal care an individual receives, but not quality of life or loneliness.

the AFEAT is a valid and reliable tool, and analyses highlight the need for an individual-oriented age-friendly environment tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalAge and Ageing
Issue number2
Early online date2 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding: ExtraCare Charitable Trust


  • age-friendly environments
  • environment assessment tool
  • frailty
  • independence
  • individual perspective
  • older people


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