The AAA invited some of the worlds’ foremost design gurus to reimagine the relationship between our older selves and the built environment. Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design Royal College of Art, opened the session by pointing out that the majority of older people will not move into specialist housing or retirement villages. Most will be obliged to make do, adapting, and retrofitting their existing properties where possible.
As soon as my parents became eligible for Medicare, my siblings and I started nudging them about planning for their future. They were healthy at the time, but we found ourselves looking at their house with a fearful eye. It had lots of steps, narrow door frames and uneven floors, and it was a hundred miles from my sister, their nearest child. We could easily imagine a nightmare unfolding.
The world is designed against the elderly, writes Don Norman, 83-year-old author of the industry bible Design of Everyday Things and a former Apple VP.
Home modifications can help delay institutional care, creating benefits for the individual, the taxpayer and the healthcare system.
Assistive devices and technologies minimize individual’s dependence on others and helps improve quality of life. Devices such as wheelchairs, visual aids, hearings aids, and specialized computer software and hardware system aids in enhancing hearing, vision, mobility, or communication of the elderly and disabled people.
In a bid to answer the above, I began research and found that to design for everyone , the design has to be accessible, usable and inclusive. This all mean different things although closely related and their goals, approaches, and guidelines overlap.
It’s the mother of all untapped markets: the world’s 65-plus population. Already at a historical high of over 600 million people, it’s projected to hit a full billion by 2030, and 1.6 billion by 2050.