Assessing the Suitability of the Design, Safety and Physical Environment of Hospitals for the Elderly: A Case Study in Iran

Ahmad Ahmadi Teymourlouy, Hesam Seyyedin, Reza Fadaye-vatan, Amir Omrani


Iran, like many other countries, is experiencing a growing elderly population. In 2016 census in Iran, out of a population of 79,926,270 people, more than 6 million people (8.2% of the population) were 60 years and over. This can be a major challenge for both healthcare providers and senior patients. This study assesses the suitability of the design, safety, physical environment and systems of Iranian hospitals based on age-friendly design principles.
In this descriptive research, 26 hospitals in Tehran were selected and examined. Data were collected using a valid and reliable checklist with 50 items assessing the physical environment, accessibility, service delivery, and management systems of the hospitals.
The results showed that 96 % of hospitals have wide corridors, 88% have suitable lighting, 85% have ramps for wheelchair users and railings for staircases, but 58% do not have an alarm in each toilet. It can be said that the majority of the hospitals were in a relatively good condition in terms of safety of the physical environment, but resource management and special programs and healthcare systems for the elderly were in a poor condition.
Given the rising elderly population in developing countries such as Iran, it is imperative to create elder-friendly environments and programs. The increasing demand for hospital beds necessitates special care be given to elder-friendly principles in the design and construction of new hospitals as well as the renewal of existing ones. It is also vital to carefully consider the health, safety and special needs of older patients in design and construction of new hospitals as well as the renewal of existing ones and developing health policies at the macro, meso and micro level, especially as they relate to inpatient and outpatient services.


Elder-Friendly Hospitals, Safety, Elder-Friendly Principles, Physical Environment of Hospitals, Healthcare Services

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Iranian Journal of Health, Safety and Environment e-ISSN: :2345-5535 Iran university of Medical sciences, Tehran, Iran