Monday, September 1, 2008

Housing an ageing society: practical & stylish designs

Goodbye doilies The style-savvy over-65s are about to influence design as never before
James Mair of Viaduct, a designer furniture retailer, has seen a rise in older customers over the past five years. "A lot of 60- and 70-year-olds are classic empty nesters. They feel like a complete change. They may have had a more traditional home in the past but now have a real curiosity about modern design."
Earlier this year the government launched Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods - a national strategy for housing an ageing society. By 2011 it will be compulsory for all new-builds to incorporate flexibility, such as dropped kerbs on pavements, no stairs up to the front door, a toilet downstairs that can be converted into a shower. "These ideas are universal," Wright says. "Having a ramp up to the front door helps a parent with a buggy, too."
(link via
Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods: A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society is the first of its kind in the world.
I'm impressed with the ideas behind the government initiative. Let's hope it will actually be put into practice - the compulsory design for all new-builds - and that the promise to better support older people in their current homes will be upheld.


  1. Interesting entry! Call me cynical but your hopes in the last paragraph seem rather pie-in-sky given the goverment's track record on most things! xx

  2. I know I'm being very optimistic but I can't help hoping that the government will address these important issues for the elderly. You're right though - the government's track record is awful. They love to make promises and get people's hopes up and then make excuses when it doesn't turn out.