The statistics speak for themselves! According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, in 2009 ( the latest year of collected data) Americans over 65 years of age numbered about one in eight- 36.9 million, or 12.9% of the population. By 2030, that sector is projected to reach 19% equaling 72.1 million, twice the amount in the year 2000.
Pilar Touch20 by Delta
As our population changes and living needs shift, there is undoubtedly a question of where these individuals will live. There is no place like home, and as people advance in years or experience a life event, invariably they want to live in and enjoy their homes and familiar surroundings, neighborhood and community. Most homes were designed and built without any thought or foresight to the future or the dynamic needs of a changing population.
RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION DILEMMAS FOR AN ADVANCING POPULATION
The opportunity now is to recognize where and how homes and sites can be modified to not only maximize functionality, but to simultaneously enhance property values, integrate pleasing aesthetics, and solve multifaceted and complex dilemmas for individuals, families, and care givers.
In residential construction, hundreds of design features persisted through time simply because of the mindset “that’s just the way it’s done” or to save contractor dollars. Inertia is hard to break, and standards are sometimes perpetuated without much thought as to whether they make sense. Many of those features create the very barriers that ultimately make a home unlivable.
Design, good and bad, impacts life in every moment of every day. It is the essence of experience… one that can flow with ease and harmony. In contrast and where certain requirements need to be accommodated, existing or poor designs can be a constant challenge and source of annoyance, aggravation and frustration. Sensitive design modifications offer the solution to sometimes intricate and changing needs.
I believe my role as a designer is to open a dialogue with careful and thoughtful communication about aging and living needs, and provide services that integrate universal design principles that positively impact all.
Next… more on universal design…
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