Housing options for older people

housing options

In many countries, the challenge of ensure the high accessibility standard to all the units should be considered in purpose to ensure the environment more accessible when designing a house for older people (Maisel, 2010). Newer housing design for older people with the specific features like have impaired mobility and no- step entry and single floor living; and extra-wide hallways and doors for passing the wheelchairs that make the home more accessible (HOUSING AMERICA’S OLDER ADULTS, 2015).

According to a survey (Figure 1) taken by US department of house and urban development older households are more apt to choose the house with single-floor living features. The example of Eggerbraken an co-housing community of about 30 courtyard housed demonstrated the advantages. The units in this community are all one story which are all fully accessible except for kitchens and laundries that were designed to the individual household needs. By decreasing the use of stairs enable older adults to remain safely in their homes as the second greatest number of injuries occur on stairs and steps, especially during descent (WELLS and EVANS, 2015). Furthermore the one story house can forbid the sounds from the floor, for instances, the sound from the television might travel to the second floor if the bedroom is located directly upstairs. It is hard for people to have a sleep in that bedroom.

Figure 1: Newly Built Units Are Most Likely to Have Accessibility Features

Newly Built Units Are Most Likely to Have Accessibility Features

Source: JCHS tabulations of US Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2011 American Housing Survey

While some accessibility improvements such as elevator navigate stairs can also help older people living safely even it is a two story house. A Swedish company named Senior Garde specializes in designing apartment for people over 50. Their projects are usually two and three story buildings located in the areas which suitable for retirement living. By installing elevators and internal weather protected circulation the projects are fully accessible even it is a two story building. A guest apartment is provided for visitors (Maisel, 2010). Therefore, in our project we try to mix one-story home and two-story home together for elderly people.

Reference and Images

Anchor, (2015). [image] Available at: http://www.anchor.org.uk/ [Accessed 10 May 2015].

HOUSING AMERICA’S OLDER ADULTS. (2015). [online] Available at: http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/livable-communities/documents-2014/Harvard-Housing-Americas-Older-Adults-2014.pdf [Accessed 11 May 2015].

Maisel, J. (2010). The state of the science in universal design. [Sharjah, U.A.E.]: Bentham Science Publishers.

WELLS, N. and EVANS, G. (2015). Home Safety Guidelines for Older Adults. [online] Available at: http://www.human.cornell.edu/dea/outreach/upload/Home-Safety-Guidelines-for-Older-Adults-2-2.pdf [Accessed 11 May 2015].

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About Mengying Qiao

Hi, I am Mengying Qiao, as known as Joy. I am a girl from China. In July 2013, I graduated at Shanghai University where I received a bachelor’s in Urban Planning. I think life should not be flatly light. People should have their own pursuit and courage to challenge the limited life. Because I believe that human potential is endless, I would like to live in a competitive environment. That is why I choose to have my further study in Newcastle University. At present, I take a master course in Urban Design with the hope that I can learn a lot from this course and have different cultural experience. After 3 months living here, I now settle in well and I am so glad to make many new friends in Newcastle. Apart from urban design, things that hold my passion are listening to the music, reading, practicing my guitar and cooking. And also I really love traveling, going to new places to make new friends and learning about different cultures and life.

One thought on “Housing options for older people

  1. Hi Joy!

    I agree with you that our environment plays a crucial role in helping to live successful and satisfied live. The inside and outside of the home is influence on our live. Elderly people spend a big amount of time at home that is why it is very significant place for them. Mowl holds the view that spending too much time in the home was linked to physical decline (Mowl, 2000). This is happening because to get out is dependent on numerous factors. Such as isolation (lack of resources) and loneliness (loss of contacts). There are many issues that should be changed in a typical neighborhood in order to make streets a pleasant space for older people. They are shop proximity, good quality pavement and others. Simple back or front garden can make a radical change and be a source of privacy and pleasure. It can increase older people well-being.
    We need to re-value and pay attention to places created for older people.

    Mowl, G., Pain, R & Talbot, C. (2000) ‘Ageing body and the homespace’ Area, 32 (2) 189 – 197

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