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DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE

Senior Housing Design: Tour the AAHSA Idea House 2010

(Source:  Senior Housing News)

Everyone wants to stay in their homes longer but what is possible in a single family home with today’s products?  At the annual convention of American Association for Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) in Los Angeles, the Idea House of 2010 showcased the current possibilities in senior living design and  products on the market today.  The Idea House displayed concepts in design as well as technology, furnishings, floorings, fabrics and more in a 5,000 square foot indoor and outdoor living space.  LINK TO ARTICLE HERE  

Take a tour of the AAHSA Idea House and see some of the latest design concepts and technology in Senior Living

 

The End of the Peter Pan Home:  But shouldn't tech in the home be more universal?

(Source:  By Laurie Orlov, Aging in Place Technology Watch Blog)

Get this. A Dallas Morning News article that advised homeowners to “senior-proof their house so you don't have to move later” says universal design is now hot. The article cited an AARP study indicating that 90% of those over 50 want to stay put in their homes, but noted that most homes in this country are “Peter Pan” homes, designed for people who will never grow old, with overly narrow doorways, dangerous carpets and doorsills, terrorizing bathrooms, and inaccessible upper floors.

How times have changed. With a groundswell of baby boomers heading towards seniordom, adding universal design features now adds to the value of the home. So for those who prefer to plan ahead, like the Dallas couple in the article, incorporating universal design elements in a remodel makes sense to do sooner rather than later.

Universal design used to have a limited audience, but not any more. "Stepless entries, home elevators, wide passageways, adjustable cabinets, curbless showers, and other universal design features represent now the fastest-growing segment of the residential remodeling industry," says John Hockenberry at the MIT Media Lab. So no surprise that "there was a 74 percent increase over the last year in inquiries from prospective clients interested in making their homes more accessible." The Dallas Morning News article quoted Therese Crahan, executive director of the National Association of Home Builders' remodelers’ group, which has now trained more than 3,000 contractors as “Certified Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS).”
 
We want homes that use universal design principles. The principles of universal design are excellent: flexible, intuitive, accessible, error-tolerant, etc. And so CAPS-trained designers make an obstacle course house into a universal design home in which to live comfortably now and age successfully later. That's good—it's a glimmer of goodness for contractors in an otherwise very bleak time. And how nice that these changes boost home value. Read more . . . 

 

MedCottage (WATCH THIS!)

(Source:  CBS)

This CBS video introduces N2Care’s signature product, the MedCottage, a mobile, modular medical home designed to be placed temporarily on a caregiver’s property for rehabilitation and extended care. It is a state-of-the-art hospital room with remote monitoring so caregivers can provide the best possible care. The MedCottage is a response to the trend that as people age or require additional care, many treatment options take them away from their families; instead, the MedCottage gives families the ability to participate directly in their loved one’s recovery, rehabilitation, or extended care. For more information on N2Care or the MedCottage, click here.

Universal Design: The House Of Your Future?

(Source: NPR)

Imagine building a house when you're young that you can live in as you age: wide doorways can accommodate both a stroller and a wheelchair; towel racks in the kitchen double as grab bars as balance grows unsteady; and entryways are smooth to prevent tripping. Builders incorporate these concepts of universal design to create homes that are barrier-free without looking purposely modified. Here, take a tour of a home designed to be accessible to all.  MORE

 

One Third Of 45+ Demographic Have Made Home Improvements To Live There Longer

(Source:  AARP)

What’s on the minds of the 45+ mindset this summer?  According to the AARP Closer Look June 2010 survey, the respondents concerns include economic issues such as having to stop contributing to retirement savings (28%), having work hours cut or having to take a pay cut (20%), and having problems paying for essential items like food and utilities (20%).  Additional concerns of the 45+ demographic about their communities included:

  • 26% said that access to affordable housing was a major problem if the needed or chose to move
  • 33% said that they have made improvements to their current home that would enable them to stay in that home longer
  • 17% noted that access to practical and convenient public transportation options in their community was a problem

For the full scoop on the survey results, visit the AARP Closer Look June 2010 Survey

Link to Article

Apartment remodeled to assist visually impaired

(Source: KRISTINA IODICE, THE GAZETTE)

CAROL LAWRENCE/The Gazette 

The Inn at Garden Plaza employee Sophia Bower helped design a model apartment for those with limited eyesight at the senior living community. The model was unveiled Monday, showing such details as a talking microwave and a large print TV remote.  

Looks are everything at a new kind of apartment unveiled Monday at The Inn at Garden Plaza retirement community. Believed to be a first, the “vision enhancement” apartment was remodeled to deal with the challenges of living with macular degeneration.

The model displays key changes that will help seniors with vision limitations of macular degeneration live more independently. The options will be available to incoming residents, or residents currently living in the apartment building.  Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness for those aged 55 and older in the United States, affecting more than 10 million Americans, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation’s website, www.macular.org. That number will increase as the population ages.  The incurable disease causes blurring of the central vision, making it difficult or impossible to do things such as reading and driving. The disease doesn’t alter side vision. However, faces are harder to recognize, and it becomes increasingly difficult to see objects when there isn’t much contrast, such as a dark-colored pen on a black countertop.

The project started when Jan Jones, senior sales director at The Inn at Garden Plaza and The Bridge, saw a need for apartments designed specifically for people with impaired vision from macular degeneration.  Nan Drobnick, a vision rehabilitation therapist with Peak Vista’s Second Sight program, contributed her expertise. A longtime resident offered her experiences with dealing with the disease. Sophia Bower, director of environmental services, and her team were responsible for the physical remodel, which took about two weeks.  MORE   

Home Modifications for Alzheimer’s Care

(Source: Networx – Thanks to Alzheimer’s Daily News)

Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, poses a particular set of challenges in the home environment. According to the Alzheimer's Association, 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, and it weighs in as the 7th leading cause of death in America. Home safety issues pose dangers to people with Alzheimer's that you or I would not generally consider. Think about how many household functions require depth perception, sequential thought, short-term and long-term memory, and the ability to initiate activities.

Alzheimer's related complications often involve the home-environment - falls and fires are two of the most common. Beyond preventing injury and death, the home environment affects the quality of life of someone with Alzheimer's.  Rosemary Bakker is Director of ThisCaringHome.org, a project of Weill Cornell Medical College. In an interview she discussed strategies for reducing home risks and improving quality of life for people with the disease. Bakker said, "The environment is so important to a person with Alzheimer's. They're much more sensitive to their environment, so there's a lot they can do to make it safer for them, and to give them a greater quality of life."  Go to full story: networx.com