An Innovative Built Environment Form For Dwellings For The Elderly

Bostjan KERBLER

Abstract


Due to population ageing, countries’ financial capacities to maintain the current level and scope of services and institutional care for the elderly are decreasing, which is why there are increasing demands to rationalize services and residential care for the elderly as much as possible. The demands are feasible, considering that the main idea is to enable the elderly to remain in their homes as long as possible, and to move the services aimed at the elderly to their home environments. This idea can be carried out by appropriately adapting the built environment. The basis for this is offered by modern technologies, which can convert an elderly person’s home into an innovative living environment. This article presents such an of environment offering support to the elderly, and discusses its importance and operation, the efforts and achievements made to date in developing this innovation, and the premises for implementing it in society based on elderly people’s opinions about living in such advanced living environments. The findings show that the main goal of implementation must be assigning meaning to and understanding the concept of innovative built environments among users; in addition, they show that rapid changes in implementing innovative built environments into society are not to be expected. A major step in this regard would already be achieved if the living environments of the elderly were intentionally remodelled following the design-for-all principle, if architectural barriers were removed in them, and if new homes were built without these barriers. This alone would make it possible for the elderly to remain in their homes longer while also providing a basis for converting these living environments into smart homes by using modern assistive technologies in the future.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4305/metu.jfa.2014.1.6

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