Frontiers in Computer Education Wang (ed.)
© 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, London, ISBN 978-1-138-02797-8
First exploration of living space for old people with chronic disease,
taking Diabetes Mellitus (DM) in the elderly as an example
Haiyang Gao & Jingyuan Li
Faculty of Design, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming, Yunnan
ABSTRACT: With the growing of aging population in China, we pay more attention to the elderly chronic
disease, and the care of elderly chronic diseases has gradually become the family and social problem which can’t
be ignored. This paper summarizes the design contents of living environment of chronic diseases in elder which
in consideration of special psychological and physiological characteristics and the nursing care they needed from
the perspective of human nature.
Keywords: Disabled elderly; chronic disease; diabetes mellitus; living environment
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is mostly diabetes mellitus
type 2, referring to those people who are over sixty
years old and in vivo due to insufficient insulin secre-
tion or impaired insulin secretion, cause the human
endocrine disorders, leading to human body mate-
rial metabolism disorder. Thus, metabolic disorders of
hyperglycaemia and high blood cholesterol as well as
disorders of protein, water, and electrolytes occur. At
the same time, diabetes mellitus type 2 patients have
high incidence of hyperglycaemia, hypertension, high
fat, hyperinsulinism, and also coronary disease, which
is called X syndrome or metabolic syndrome.
Meanwhile, DM always coexists with many
other geriatric conditions, and hypoglycaemia easily
occurs along with accompanying infection, concurrent
Physiological function Characteristics of function weakness
Sensory system As age progresses, vision, hearing, tactile sensation, taste sense, and olfactory sensation all
weaken; meanwhile, the ability to adapt to temperature change and a sensitivity to extreme
climates weakens.
Motional system Flexibility and the power of muscles gradually weakens. Activities are restricted and the risk of
cataclasis increases. The ability to walk and understand weakens.
Central nervous system The ability to react and the concept-forming ability weaken; flexibility and agility are reduced.
Ability for keeping one’s balance weakens. Energy and power are easily lost and depression
easily occurs.
Urinary system Nocturia occurs. Due to increased urination, sleep quality is affected and insomnia becomes
more severe. Meanwhile, with the increase of urine in the bladder, uracratia is aggravated.
Respiratory system and
Activities are restricted; fatigue easily occurs; energy and power are easily lost; activities without
Figure 1.1. Characteristics of physiological functions of DM patients.
(Source: drawn by the authors)
cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, concur-
rent kidney diseases, concurrent eye diseases, and
concurrent nervous system diseases.
This paper will take the psychological and physio-
logical characteristics of DM patients as examples, and
then analyse their environmental elements, in order
to explore the environment design points for disabled
elderly people.
2.1 Barrier to sensory system
Among all the internal senses, vision is the most
important feeling. Besides the apparent vision weak-
ening, the concurrent pathology of the eyes of people

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