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What’s your ideal environment for aging?

April 26, 2012
by Patricia Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief
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That’s a question I’ve posed to many LTC providers, aging experts and senior living designers and architects when covering this topic of growing importance for our burgeoning senior population. The answers vary widely, and reflect lifestyle preferences, health issues and both professional and personal experiences.

I’m looking forward to exploring the many strategies and ideas for creating attractive and functional living environments for our aging population at our upcoming Environments for Aging conference, to be held next Sunday through Tuesday at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando. There, attendees will learn best practices in building, architecture and design and gain the industry’s expert insights into the future of senior living.

Nearly 40 sessions will cover every aspect of the design of long-term and residential care settings including codes and standards; successful remodeling and repositioning; aging-in-place; integrating technology into design; memory care design and programming; effective outdoor space planning; and small projects that provide a big impact on culture change.

I’ll be reporting from the conference next week and invite you to join in the conversation. Email me at psheehan@vendomegrp.comor add your comments to the online articles and guest blogs posted live from the conference. For more information on Environments for Aging, click here.

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Comments

Well, we all know that the only constant is change! What is also becoming quite clear is that the aging population is swelling daily (10,000 Boomers retiring every day!)

However, a recent MetLife poll showed that only about 12 percent anticipate moving to a senior community. That number needs to be higher, and it can be if we listen closely to their concerns.

Clearly, the basic transition they are demanding is from "institution style" settings to home and hospitality style settings where they retain a sense of empowerment (as guests), integration (as members of a larger, intergenerational society), and a more vitalizing environment that stimulates all five of their senses with smells, sounds, textures, and scenery that more nearly matches a hotel vacation stay than an "island for aging people."

Special health resources will be required but on a more a la carte basis and more closely tailored individual health needs. Your recent article in Long Term Living captured it well. See: http://www.ltlmagazine.com/article/active-agers-drive-new-design-model

Patricia Sheehan

Patricia Sheehan

@longtermliving

Patricia Sheehan wrote for Long-Term Living when she was editor-in-chief. She left that...