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Housing + the elderly

In the year 2030, the German population will be the oldest in Europe with an forecasted percentage of 46,2% senior citizens.

The German population is ageing, like most European populations. Additionally the Germans still desire to stay in their own four walls and get old just there as long as possible. In parallel to the demographic change the prevalence of functional and cognitive limitations within the population is increasing. However, the design of residential buildings and the urban setting sparsely consider these particular requirements. Environmental barriers lead to decreased social interaction or cause social isolation. They increase the risk of accidents: Most of the deadly injuries at home are falls harming the elderly. (Official Statistics, Federal Office, Wiesbaden).
As new houses replace the existing buildings only at a very low rate, costly adaptation are essential to improve the usability and accessibility of the private and public housing stock. The construction process of future housing should apply far-sighted barrier-free and flexible design concepts. Particularly urban planning and the development of city areas should take better account of the needs of the elderly and disabled.

Besides traditional living concepts for the elderly like nursing homes for the elderly, different forms of housing are arising-. Such new concepts are, for instance, forms of assisted living or outpatient care assisted (residential care home) living communities.

In contrary, urban planning ought to consider the demographic change and strengthen the setting for families with children. Urban planning is therefore faced with the challenge of developing innovative projects for different age groups in order to meet the healthy housing claims of the society.