Age-Friendly Design – Literature review Example
Age-Friendly Design Affiliation In the recent past, people have grown old certainly and the older people have been for years hampered by both the products in the homesteads they live in as well as their environments. Older people would overwhelmingly love to spend their time in their homes. However, at some point a major number of the elderly are unable to meet the demands their environments place on them hence face the predicament: they have to look for help or relocate to a place of lesser problems. Most are forced to dwell in nursing homes or in congregate housing. The American society is being forced to take measures by the large numbers of people who are likely to end up in this dilemma. Some adapting must be done. It is very simple. The American homes need only to become a little more forgiving for the inevitable physiological, as well as the mental effects of getting old. This paper gives design ideas on products that can enhance and change the living styles of those growing old (Herman Miller Research corporation, 2014).
Most elderly pople lose the ability to function gradually and may require additional assistance right at home or despite the unwilling of most of them, a move to a facility of the elderly care. These old ones’ elderly children face the greatest challenge in assisting their parents in making the right choices. For the old ones who may need assistance with daily tasks, assisted living is an option. It is of lesser cost compared to nursing homes but for many people it is also considered to be expensive, complex and also multifaceted. It involves healthcare issues, financial concerns, family behavior norms and also aspects of state, federal and local policy (Herman Miller Research corporation, 2014).
Designers and organizations have set a goal “universal” design also known as “transgenerational design” which is a design meant for all ages. This can only lead to one of the two: either the problems the product solve will be small since it will be a similar problem for all age groups, or this product will become a compromise before the eyes of those groups it is meant to satisfy universally. The universal design can currently stay ideal but the designers and researchers need to have something more pragmatic for guiding their work. Living environments, products and services can directly make a contribution to a person’s liberty, life as well as pursuit to happiness or quality life. It is so unfortunate that in the U.S most environments directly contribute to institutionalization, debility and spiritual hopelessness. If the environment and its products could contribute directly to personal wellbeing, then this could help people to the extent of pursuit of rights that are guaranteed by the culture. Each person surely needs to have a chance at an appropriate and supportive place to live. Products and environments that are designed with the aging people’s problems in mind are necessary. Some important steps need to observe to modify products and environments for the promotion of longer lives of self sufficiency and ability (Herman Miller Research corporation, 2014).
Defining problems for the elderly: Designers can design better homes and products for the elderly by enquiring first; what products are needed by the elderly, what problems the aging have with their homes, the demands likely to force them relocate to other places in life which may include mobility, home maintenance and shopping problems.
Designers can now find the seeds to solution: The best way is to derive the solution right from the problem.
Designers will need to understand fully, interactions among people, environments and products.
Designers should understand the process of manufacturing, research is not just enough. Design and development of products is a very expensive proposition today. The processes of production need to be accounted for in their designs.
Designers need to be very innovative since products and environment for the elderly need new ideas desperately. Designers can bring tremendous change through products they make. They can change behaviors of people or self-image.
Designers should keep the following principles in mind while making products for the aging.
Bias free – products and environments need not presume a user to be old or young or even to be of certain ability
Well mannered – takes into account the way people work change or live as they age.
Substantial – environments and products need to employ material, which will create some sense of stability.
Congruent – aging people’s problems do demand a comment as well as an ethical viewpoint behind whatever physical problem.
Provocative – discourages passivity, encourages activity; extends the ability of people to serve themselves.
Comforting – strengthens and ability and resolve; puts emphasis on prevention.
Playful – allows for delight, play and surprise. Play and playfulness are supposed to be part of work and life (Herman Miller Research corporation, 2014).
In conclusion, producers and architects should assume a much larger role in designing products to address remodeling the aging people’s problems. New technology should hold potential for the designing of products for the aging. Better products, services, houses and environment should be put in place for the aging to sustain stability and sufficiency in their life.
Herman Miller Research corporation. (2014). Life-Span Design of Residential Environment for an Aging Population Design and Problems of Aging . Retrieved april 2, 2014, from homemods.org: http://www.homemods.org/resources/life-span/problems.shtml