This month’s Wellnotes delves into the principles of “Livable Design”, more commonly referred to as “aging in place”. When we think about “aging in place” we think of wider doorways or higher electrical outlets. A recent statistic however, shifted our focus from a physical to an emotional point of view: “Half of nursing home residents are placed there, not for health reasons but the absence of social interaction due to a lack of accessibility”. A large part of a designer’s job is to implement designs so that social connections aren’t lost and more importantly, don’t look like an after thought. As Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) we can recommend many design options that not only speak to an aging population, but also benefits families with young children planning on staying in their homes indefinitely, such as:
- Levered door handles easily grasped by aging hands and small children.
- A slight entranceway ramp instead of stairs that are both wheelchair and stroller friendly.
- Entranceway cameras with an intercom system (with smartphone features) providing security to both the elderly and mothers with small children.
- Hallway motion sensor lights that illuminate objects benefiting both the elderly and toddler’s leaping out of bed in middle of the night.
Livable design is a thoughtful design process that can be implemented now and work for all ages.