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
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].