One of my latest research topics is service design for healthy elderly people. Many elderly people remain both physically and mentally healthy without experiencing an age-related decline in their abilities. Meanwhile, the proportion of “single-person households” is on the rise, and many solitary deaths have been reported in apartment complexes in the suburbs of large cities. Against this background, I have studied the structure of the relationship between the attributes of elderly people and their attitude toward life as well as the causal relationship between time records and behavioral change, with the aim of developing service design to improve quality of life in healthy elderly people.
Some of the results from a study on “enjoyment in daily life,” a component of attitude toward life, are presented below [Note 1]. Table 1 shows the participants analyzed. Four factors (“social interaction,” “everyday activities,” outdoor activities,” and “preferential activities”) that can be used as indexes for assessing new services were extracted, and the characteristics of four clusters were revealed (Table 2). Next, the four clusters were subjected to a chi-square test and residual analysis to reveal characteristics according to sex and household composition (Table 3). The results suggested the influence of sex in “Cluster 2, Preferential enjoyment type” and “Cluster 4, Everyday enjoyment type” as well as the influence of both sex and household composition in “Cluster 1, Interaction enjoyment type” and “Cluster 3, non-enjoyment type.”