Designing for the Aging Population

With over 77 million Baby Boomers nearing retirement age, all industries are working on making their designs more accessible to the aging population.  Interior Design and architecture are no exception. More and more seniors are choosing to age in place, rather than move to a retirement or assisted living facility.

And if they chose to move to a community, the "old folks home" no longer exists.   In it's place are vibrant communities of seniors, that rival some of the nicest resorts.  Amenities may include salons, golf course, gourmet dining, and a variety of exercise and social gatherings for active adults. 
Regardless of where your client decides to age, a  supportive interior environment should not only be  combination the knowledge of the aging process, durable materials, and residential appeal, it should also reflect compassion and understanding. 

There is no skill more valuable to a designer than  the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes.  Which is why I am sharing this speech given by Mary Maxwell at the 2009 Home Instead Senior Care.  It seems like a prayer at the start, but stick with it, Mary gives some funny insight on what it's like to become a senior citizen.  

If there is one thing you should remember from this speech, it is statement, "This is the first time I've ever been old... and it just sort of crept up on me."

Also check out this link to see how GE, Boeing, MIT & Volvo are learning to Design for the Retirement Boom.

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