Norway’s Foundation for Design and Architecture, Norsk Form, has identified what it calls the “Age Wave” in design.  Noting that Norway’s senior citizens over 80 will double by 2035, the Foundation has called for a “break with old traditions.”  They go on to argue that “[t]omorrow’s senior citizens will want to live and be part of the pulsating life of the city centre … no longer accept[ing] being stowed far away ext to the cemetery.”  As a result, they believe that a central location for aged care facilities is important as it “enables the residents to go to concerts without having to brave the weather, to watch their grandchildren playing football and to go to the local café.” It also allows for “contact between different generations” and results in “a better quality of life for the inhabitants.”

A report titled “Investigating Walking Environments in and Around Assisted Living Facilities: A Facility Visit Study” and highlighted by Therapeutic Landscape Network makes a similar assessment.  It notes the benefits of walking, the most common form of exercise for the elderly.  As a result, it calls for facilities to be located in ” in densely populated areas with high land-use mixes and with easy access to destinations” and to include both outdoor and indoor walking areas.  Also noting the potential risks of falls to residents, the report goes on to include parameters on which neighborhoods are best equipped to host an aged care facility and on how facilities can reduces these risks through both their design and on-going programs.

Both of these blog entries highlight the ways in which design can improve the quality of life of residents of aged care facilities.  Take some time to look through them and share your thoughts with IAHSA.

Norsk Form

Therapeutic Landscape Network