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HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THE OLD Architecture, design, and technology supporting an aging population.

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THE OLD Architecture, design and technology supporting an aging population

Adalberto Lonardi

MA Interiors RCA 2019

Tutor Barry Curtis

Words count 11.751

Š ADALBERTO LONARDI 2019 Concepts and visual content contained in this document are Intellectual Property of Adalberto Lonardi Studio. any copying, distribution or other action taken in reliance on it is prohibited.

FOREWORD As Leon Trotsky, once wrote, “Old age is the most unexpected for many of all the things that can happen to a man.”1 I never thought much about aging but observing my mother’s single life in her 60’s and interviewing her about her present, and future concerns, I decided to learn more about growing old and how to deal with related challenges of the later stages of life. The research developed in this book has been carried out through primary and secondary methods, firstly interviewing two women - one in her middle age and one in her 80's - about their present and future considerations and secondly, documenting the existing socio-technological solutions to the phenomenon of an increasingly aging population. This process leads to a subjective Euler diagram that summarizes, categorizes and highlights three main common areas of concern we need to take into consideration when designing for the elderly: physical health, mental health, and relationships.

I explore the current and future ways are available to improve senior citizens’ lives, integrate them, and learn from them. I offer thoughts and references to rethink and reconfigure older people's experience of the urban space, speculating on the meaning and value of the 'old' in a space/time-less digital and technological world. Finally, I wish to increase awareness and further understanding at a phenomenon that arguably most people are not aware of in the early and middle stages of their life, leading, as a consequence, to an unconscious marginalization and exploitation of the older part of the society. The research acts as a broad introduction to the topography of ageing in modern world. It will be expanded and developed into a design and architectural proposal during the second year of studies at the Royal College of Art, to speculate on the adaptation and evolution of we live in the future.

The principal purpose of this study is to take a provisional picture and analyse on a micro and macro-scale how today architecture, design, and technology are responding to an aging population, supporting integrity, independence, and inclusion. I will document and evaluate the positive and negative aspects of each macro-area and offer (where possible) alternative points of view. In this way, 5

How-to take care of the old



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How-to take care of the old


From Birth to Death Our perception of the ‘old’ is subjective, dictated by popular assumptions and perhaps against the idea of changing physically and mentally. As a proof, understanding of ‘old age’ varies noticeably among countries according to the European Social Survey conducted in 2009. In the UK, 59 years old is perceived as the beginning of late-life.2 On average, for the majority of people old age starts around 65 years old, which has been a typical age for compulsory retirement.3 But today, we need to look at what we believe is the beginning of old age once again. Biologically, ageing results from an accumulation of cellular deterioration and the limitations in the cells’ ability to repair the damage, specifically in our DNA and proteins.4 The process of aging is then inevitable, but we live in a society that celebrates and champions eternal youth over experience and wisdom. As a result, we tend to ignore what our aged future will be. Everybody experiences ageing differently depending on individual experiences throughout their lifetime. Life’s length and quality change during our lives depending upon uncontrollable factors. Childhood and family, education, career, wealth, and health will facilitate or limit how we live. One of the significant changes over the last fifty years is the dwindling of ‘jobs for life,’ the patterns of casualised

What is 'Old'?


labour, outsourcing, and automation. All of these impact on older people’s viability on the job market. Pension ages get higher, and the chances of holding on to a job in old age become more remote. Most of the 'Baby Boomers' or previous generations do not own or use computers and have difficulties with smart-phones, and online applications, which combined with mobility problems, can become a considerable handicap. The skills and understandings they have acquired over a lifetime often prove to be irrelevant and lead to the marginalization of the individual as Ken Loach well presented in his movie 'I, Daniel Blake' about the problems for an elderly man claiming benefits.

For many, aging is frightening due to a longer expected lifetime and related mental and physical illnesses. The body changes as time passes by disability and frailty are common problems. Muscles lose strength, hearing, and vision becomes less acute, reflex times slow down. The heart can be affected, sexual inhibition and changes of the skin and the outer body occurs. The mind also deteriorates: memory loss, depression, and different kind of dementia, including Alzheimer and Parkinson, affect the elderly. As a consequence, the old becomes an element of discrimination, evidence of abuse, indifference, and exploitation leading to marginalization.

Perceptions of old age are also relative to class and income as wealthy old people are in a different category to perceived to be ‘dependent’ old people. The situation of older individuals will vary not only according to financial status (the ability to pay for specialist healthcare and necessary accessories) but also culturally. In some countries, such as in Italy or Greece, older adults tend to be cared for by members of an extended family. This fact is not so real in the UK.

Also, age often means diminished responsibility - at some stage the ageing person has to either willingly hand over what in the UK is called 'right of attorney' to someone who will look after their financial affairs, but this can be traumatic, as a sign that the person is no longer fully functioning and is legally dispossessed.5

For most people the entry into ‘old age’ is brought about by a sudden accident - fall, stroke, the onset of arthritis - so that the perspective changes in a short time and adjustments need to be made - driving a car, climbing stairs, bathing, etc. become no longer possible. So, although the process is gradual, it can also be marked by sudden worsening of health and active life. 9

However, ageing can be a positive transformation in life, as the time to do things we can not do when we are younger extends.Values become more profound and stronger. We are wiser and more experienced to react both psychologically and physically to everyday life. As well as we have the opportunity to carry and pass on the knowledge to the younger generation.

What is 'Old'?

The notion of aging and mortality changed over the years. The Ancients mainly thought that ageing involved the loss of some key factor of the body. Later, Peter Medawar discovered that cells aged in culture. Evolution and sex play critical roles in understanding the reasons we age. Growth is concerned only with reproduction, and it doesn’t matter if we age after reproducing.6 Both ancient and current views about ageing are on the negative side, stereotyping the elderly as warm but incompetent and useless. The positive sides of ageing are neglected and a failure to understand that getting old could be a subjective thing. As Mark Twain says: ‘Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.’7 Ageing makes one think of death and how we should prepare for it. When young, we rarely think about dying, but when old, it is almost impossible to avoid it. According to bioethicist Daniel Callahan, we must learn to accept the idea of a ‘natural lifespan’ when somebody reaches the age of 80, when we had adequate time to enjoy the experiences life offers. A good death requires psychological preparation and strategic planning.8

What is 'Old'?

t: nigh e i v ke Mo l Bla e i n I, Da

An emotional drama movie directed by Ken Loach which addresses the problem of marginalization and claim of benefits of a middle-aged man after a heart attack in England. A story of an individual who does not know how to utilize technology, unable to work due to his health situation, and failed by the state welfare system. Nonetheless, the protagonist fights stubbornly for his rights and changes the life of a young single mother. The movie is also about the influence an ordinary man can make on others. Fig. 1 - I, Daniel Blake, theatrical release poster (UK 2016)


Gerontechnology n. o r s' Seni r y sa Glos

inter- and multidisciplinary academic and professional field combining gerontology and technology.15

Gerontology n. Accessibility n.

quality or characteristic of something that makes it easy possible to approach, enter, or use it.9

Active Ageing n.

idea that older people should be fully enabled to continue participating in all aspects of life.10

Age-friendly adj.

general term applied to mean favourable to and accommodating of all generations. Also, Age-friendliness.11

Ageing in place n.

aging in place is a term used to describe a person living in the residence of their choice, for as long as they are able, as they age.12

Centenarian, nona/octo/ septua/sexagenarian adj.

study of the process by which we get old, how our bodies change, and the problems that old people have. Also, Gerontologist.16

Inclusive Design n.

design approach where the built environment (and/or any fabricated service or product) is designed and/ or adapted in such a way that it meets the needs for all, regardless of age or ability.17

Multigenerational adj.

of or pertaining to several generations, as of a family, or society.18

Senescence adj.

1. growing old. 2. characteristic of old age.19

Urban Ageing n.

emerging domain that deals with the population of older people living in cities.20

person who is a hundred years old or older, person between ninety and ninety-nine/eighty and eighty-nine/ seventy and seventy-nine/sixty and sixty-nine years old.13

Geriatric adj.

branch of medical science concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting older people.14 11

What is 'Old'?

What is 'Old'?


Fig. 2 - Bill Viola, Man Searching for Immortality/Woman Searching for Eternity, 2013

What is 'Old'?


Older and Older We are crossing a historical birth crisis with, as the main consequence, the rise of the elderly population faster than the younger age groups. The most recent information regarding global aging states that by 2050 the number of people aged 60 years old or older is going to reach more than double size and more than triple by 2100, growing from 962 million globally in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100.21 Fifty years is what we broadly consider and define as the starting point of ‘later life.’ Although we might agree that many people this age do not consider themselves ‘old,’ we have included 50-year-olds as part of later life due to several critical factors. Indeed, many people begin to experience physical decline when they reach their 50s, and many starts to plan for their retirement or find it difficult to find secure employment.22 The UK population is ageing rapidly. People aged 65 and over have doubled in the last 30 years. People living longer is today a cause for celebration. 579,776 people reached the age of 90 years and over living in the UK in 2017, including 14,430 centenarians. Over the last 15 years, there has been an increment of the number of centenarians by 85%, even though only 2.5% of centenarians are included among those aged 90 years and over.23 However, older people and centenarians are more vulnerable to physical and mental health problems as well as direct or indirect isolation.

What is 'Old'?

"Since 1974, the number and proportion of older people in the UK population (aged 65 and older) have grown by 47%, making up nearly 18% of the total population in 2014. The number of people aged 75 and over has increased by 89% over this period and now makes up 8% of the population."24 Around 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 years and over are affected by depression. However, it is estimated that 85% of older people with depression do not receive any help from the NHS.25 The number of people living with dementia was estimated around 44 million worldwide. This value is predicted to double by 2030.26 The total estimated cost of dementia in the UK reaches £ 26.3 billion, with an average price of £ 32,250 per person.27 Even though today, there is a lot more awareness relating to health issues – not smoking, sensible exercise, healthy eating, the health care system is under more significant pressure because people are living longer. If the anticipated trends match the reality in our future, the social-economical structure, urban infrastructures, and human lifestyles will need to adapt to creating new opportunities to sustain and integrate the old generations with the new ones. In the following chapters, I will analyse what can be done to embrace this apocalyptic forecast from the small scale of the single object to the macroscale of the entire society. Technology seems to have a critical role in helping older people experiencing an ordinary 14

life despite age-related challenges. However, one of the big problems is the mistrust of elderly individuals towards technology itself. The challenge today, in the later stages of life, is not how to live longer but how to live healthier.

Fig. 3 - Share of elderly (65 or over) among the total population in the UK, Eurostat Fig. 4 - Years men and women at age 65 expect to live, Eurostat


What is 'Old'?

Fig. 5 2015 and 2050 4 - UNDESA Population division, World population prospects prospects:inthe 2015 revision

0-9% 10 - 19 % 20 - 24 % 25 - 29 % 30+ % No data


What is 'Old'?

The maps depicted on the left compare the proportion of the population aged 60 or over in 2015 and 2050, highlighting the speed at which communities are ageing in the world.


Overall, worldwide, the population will age except for the central states of the African continent. Europe, China, Canada, Argentina, and the Caribbean are the countries more affected by the phenomenon. While Japan will continue its current trend of a growing older society, Iran instead will jump from a very young population to a very old one.



What is 'Old'?

What is 'Old'?


Fig. 6 - 17 - Population Pyramids based on gender and age: world, Japan, UK, USA, Italy, UAE, Russian Federation, China, India, Australia, South America, Africa

What is 'Old'?


g -Agin i t n A The e! Hous

The house designed by Japanese architect Shusaku Arakawa and his wife, American poet Madeline Gins is on the market for $1,495,000 in East Hampton, New York. The mansion has been created as an interactive laboratory for everyday life. They called it Bioscleave House. Arakawa and Gins defined the term ‘bioscleave’ in their book Architectural Body as follow: “Architecture’s holding

What is 'Old'?

in place occurs within and as part of a prevailing atmospheric condition that others routinely call biosphere, but which we, feeling the need to stress its dynamic nature, have renamed bioscleave”.28 This experimental home aims to slow down or set back the ageing process by empowering the well-being and longevity of its inhabitants. The design of the building challenge the equilibrium and stimulate the immune system, making people engage their bodies in unexpected and unique ways to fight mortality and extend life. The house features a four rectangular rooms layout. "The planning of the building demonstrates rotational symmetry." Four separate yet open


rooms (two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a study) radiate from the centre.' The designers painted the interior and exterior walls in blocks of 52 different, vibrant colors to enhance the vivacity of the place. On the other hand, opaque partitions link the area together and define the parameter of the living space.

wanted to make people more aware of their body and therefore physically an mentally active to minimize the ageing process.29

The house, which wishes to create a place for eternity, seems to emerge from surrealistic piece of art. There is a floor that undulates with boulders, designed to make its inhabitants feel uneasy and few flat surfaces except for the walls. Poles around the house help people to grab onto a stable element when disoriented. With these features the designers


Fig. 18, 19 - Arakawa and Gin's Bioscleave house exteriors and interiors.

What is 'Old'?

ing ti-Ag how n A T h e e nt T V s rim expe

In 2010 six celebrities (Liz Smith, Lionel Blair, Kenneth Kendall, Derek Jameson, Dickie Bird, and Sylvia Syms) took part of ‘The Young Ones’ for BBC 1, a reality-show that explored the prevention of ageing.30 The show is a materialization of a Harvard experiment conducted in 1980 by Dr. Ellen Langer31, Ph.D., which analysed whether imagining a younger self and re-living the best years of life could make you feel mentally and physically young once again. Dr. Langer has been described as the “mother of mindfulness” and has studied the topics of mindful aging, the illusion of control, and health extensively. The creators of the program decided to send six famous volunteers in their 70s and 80s back to 1975 (a year considered as the heyday for many of them) for a week in a perfectly reproduced 70’s house. The producers took great care of the feel and look of the house to make it as historically accurate as possible. Through research, interviews, and original photographs, the crew managed to re-stage the layout and even replicate partially the wallpaper, carpet, furniture, even the bedding of the original guests’ bedrooms. “Most of the props of the house were hired from specialist What is 'Old'?

companies to be sure the pieces really would have been in a 1975 house.”32 The TV show validated how the perception of time and age can be altered by changing the characteristics of the elements each is surrounded by. As a result, the atmosphere in the house among a group of older adults can switch from being a sad retreat destination into a dynamic and living space where collectively everyone lives as their younger selves. The program wanted ‘to put Britain under the microscope’ to show how the environment and assumptions about the old age can affect enormously on how we feel about the elderly and how we age.

Fig. 21 - 25 - (On right, from top left to bottom right) - Liz Smith, Lionel Blair, Kenneth Kendall, Derek Jameson, Dickie Bird, and Sylvia Syms’ portraits.



What is 'Old'?

1 Lewis Wolpert, You’re Looking Very Well: The

22 Mental health statistics: older people <https://

Surprising Nature of Getting Old (Faber & Faber; Main

edition (19 April 2012) p.08.

statistics-older-people> [Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

2 Park, Julia; Porteus Jeremy, Age-friendly housin

23 Estimates of the very old, including centenarians,

(London, 2018) p. 03.

UK: 2002 to 2017 (September 2018) <https://www.

3 Park, Porteus, p. 10.

4 Wolpert, Lewis, p. 98.


5 Make, register or end a lasting power of attorney

[Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

<> [Accessed

24 Office for National Statistics, (2015). Population

07 Jan 2019].

Estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and

6 British biologist, whose work on graft rejection

Northern Ireland (June 2016) <

and the discovery of acquired immune tolerance


was fundamental to the practice of tissue and organ



mid-2014/index.html> [Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

7 Wolpert, Lewis, p. 222.

25 Smyth, C, (2014). Depression in old age ‘is the next

8 Wolpert, Lewis, p. 250.

big health crisis’. The Times (April 2014) <http://www.

9 Cambridge Dictionary <https://dictionary.>

[Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

accessibility>[Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

26 Prince M, Albanese E, Guerchet M, Prina M.

10 Handler Sophie, An alternative age-friendly

(2014). World Alzheimer’s Report, Dementia and Risk

handbook (UK 2014).

Reduction - An analysis of protective and modifiable

11 Handler.

factors. London, England: Alzheimer’s Disease

12 What is ageing in place? <https://ageinplace.



27 Prince M, Knapp M, Guerchet M, McCrone P, Prina

[Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

M, Comas-Herrera A, Wittenberg R, Adelaja B, Hu B,

13 Cambridge Dictionary <https://

King D, Rehill A, Salimkumar D . (2014). Dementia UK:

The Second Edition. London: Alzheimer’s Society.

centenarian>[Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

28 Bioscleave House (Lifespan Extending Villa)

14 Cambridge Dictionary <https://dictionary.


bioscleave-house-lifespan-extending-villa> [Accessed

07 Jan 2019].

15 Feb 2019].

15 Wikipedia <

29 A house that claims to stop ageing and death

Gerontechnology> [Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

is on the market for $1,495,000 (February 2019)

16 Cambridge Dictionary <https://



gerontology>[Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

sale-02-07-2019> [Accessed 15 Feb 2019].

17 Handler.

30 The Young Ones <

18 Merriam-Webster <https://www.merriam-webster.

programmes/b00tq4d3> [Accessed 09 June, 2019].

com/dictionary/multigenerationall>[Accessed 07 Jan

31 Dr. Ellen Langer, Ph.D., is a social psychologist


and the first female professor to gain tenure in the

19 Cambridge Dictionary <https://

Psychology Department at Harvard University. - About

Ellen <> [Accessed

senescence>[Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

09 June, 2019].

20 Handler.

32 The Young Ones: Can re-living your youth make

21 Vangelis, Karkaletsis, RADIO - Robots in Assisted

you young again? (September 2010) <https://www.

Living: Unobtrusive, Efficient, Reliable and Modular>

Solutions for Independent Ageing, (Springer, 2019)

[Accessed 09 June, 2019].

[Accessed 07 Jan 2019].

What is 'Old'?



In this chapter, I present the interviews I undertook from January 2019 to April 2019 to experience and have a closer look at the needs and issues that co-exist in an older person’s life at different age stages in two different locations, Italy and the United Kingdom. A general overview of both interviews shows the following similarities.

1. There is a need “to feel alive,” helpful and involved in the society. Relationships remain critical. 2. Acknowledgment of physical deterioration and acceptance of using devices for help. 3. Fear to be lonely, isolated, and be depended on somebody else recurs. 4. Having commodities around the house and not to have to use transportation becomes essential. 5. Technology is challenging to understand, even though the younger generations feel more comfortable with it. 6. Need for new infrastructures that keep up-to-date the elderly.

The Interviews


Maria Rosa Albertini Relationship: Mother Age: 65 Location: Villafranca di Verona, Italy (30.000 inhabitants) Date: 15 February 2019 Who Am I? “I am a retired woman who takes care of the house and cultivates her hobbies. I live alone in a modern penthouse. I don’t have many major age-related physical problems, I just need glasses to read and look at screens.” “My principal occupations are charity clubs for poor, ill and impaired people, DYI and handcrafted projects, reading, watch theatre plays, movies, traveling around Italy, and going to church.” “Need to feel alive, be occupied, involved, requested, feel important, be helpful and part of the society.” In my home “Big spaces no to feel compressed, where you can move or where a wheelchair can move if necessary and at least for two people living inside. Big windows with a lot of natural light and a vista to the ills where I grew up, ” “Physical and mental help with elevators, robotics for reminders, lights, blinds, door lock, security system, and heavy duties.” “A pet, plants, and flowers to create a daily routine and get gratification and pleasure.” 27

In the public space “I need all commodities around the house: cinema, theater, gym, pool, sports facilities, centres for education, mostly in technology.” “I try not to take the car to go around: I don’t have the same reflexes as before and you are less isolated because you meet and talk to people while walking around.” “I need to be careful not to fall, to read clearly signs, to hear fewer noises or high volume music.” My fears are “Fear to be dependent on others and not to be able to do things.” “Fear to talk in a certain way, forget words, names.” “Fear to be lonely and not being helped.” “Fear to age: difficult to accept yourself, the body changed when you look at yourself in the mirror.” “Fear to travel alone: I have slower reflexes than before. I can’t run to trains or flights and I don’t know other languages.” “Fear to go out at night alone: assaulted, exploited, discriminate, robbed.” “Fear of your own government and health care system.” “Fear not to be economically sustained by your savings.” The Interviews

Fig. 26 - Mother's interview / 15 February 2019 - Skype


The Interviews


The Interviews

My relationship with technology “I daily use the phone, Internet (email, social networks (Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook), TV.” “It is important to stay in touch with my family and other people and being informed about things happening.” “Home technology is good until it becomes too sophisticated and with too many options.” “Technology is unpredictable, for instance when you lose data unexpectedly. “ I have low knowledge so I found it difficult: there is no technological DNA, I forget things I learned unless I keep using it. There are too many things to learn and I don’t know the process.” “I have difficulties looking at the screen for a long time, looking at a small screen, typing on a small device.” “I would prefer having a person instead of a robot to do things. The only advantages are that robots can execute more intimate tasks, like washing, and you can turn them off.”

Daphne Relationship: Stranger Age: 87 Location: Holt, Norfolk (3.810 inhabitants) Date: 07 April 2019 Who Am I? “I am a retired woman and I live happily in my family house alone. I have Osteoarthritis so I can’t drive and use my hands properly for cooking or carrying heavy weights.” “My principal occupations are taking care of the garden, watch news+soap opera on TV, going to church, going out for tea coffee with family/friends, cooking, having hair done, collecting antiques, keeping a diary.” “I feel important when I help to look after my family and children, host tea parties, I am involved in church activities, I feed my pets.” In my home “I like my house. It is warm, cozy, lots of memories. It is surrounded by garden/birds, located inside the town but quiet. I am really close to that Magnolia (pointing out of the window).” “I need glasses to read and write, a stick to walk, help to shower, handles around the bath, rails to go upstairs, help cooking and cleaning.” In the public space “I need help shopping and food delivery, live near the town centre and people, be exposed to normal

The Interviews


environments without remaining isolated. “I like my town. Perhaps I would like to see more pedestrianfriendly, more modern, more shops to browse, good school, good community centres.” “I move around with public transports. The bus stops next to the house.“ “My needs inside a town are shops, church, social public spaces, doctors and no car needed to move around.”

"I wear an emergency call necklace all the times. If I don’t feel well I press the button which will call my children and the nearest hospital emergency room .” “The positive sides of technology are: The background noise of the TV or radio (I talked to TV sometimes) and staying in contact with people.” “I don’t have a mobile telephone. Technology is frightening, not easy to learn.” “I think robots are a horrible alien next to nice humans.”

My fears are “I do not have many fears. I am not scared of death. When I die I will be buried with my husband over the fence in the town cemetery (laughing).” “I am concerned about my physical health and having to go to the hospital if I get injured.” “Dementia. Three friends of mine suffer from it. They live in their own world. They need someone with them all the time. I meet every Sunday with one of them for fish and chips and sometimes she creates unrealistic stories.” My relationship with technology “I think we became too clever, not thinking for ourselves. We rely too much on internet and phone.” “The technology that I use is TV, automated gate, automated car.“ 31

The Interviews

Fig. 27 - Dafne seating on her armchair during the interview on 6 April 2019 at Holt, Norfolk


The Interviews


The Interviews

Fig. 28 - Map of the mentions of common issues related to aging in 2011


The Interviews

Problem - Options The first part of this research aims to map issues (matters of concern) that occur with ageing. The graph on the left shows ageing issue tendencies, visualized as a bubble matrix chart, where the size of the bubble represents the frequency of mentions on the news. The top five issues extracted from the AGE33 Platform Europe Members websites news sections are chronologically distributed from top to bottom, from January to December 2011. On the left side of the graph, there are the issues that remain relevant throughout the year, while on the right side the issues that appear isolated. Examining the charts (p.22, 24) from the research led by Richard Rogers, Natalia Sanchez-Querubin, and Aleksandra Kil about “Mapping issues for an Ageing Europe” and the responses I received from the previous personal interviews, I categorized the common areas of vulnerability acute in old age, in three domains of study: physical health, mental health, and beyond health (relationships).

A second map (Fig. 12, p.25) highlights the suggestions to ageing-related issues researched on a local domain for each country in Europe. For instance, in Italy, there is the “Grandmother Hypothesis” provides older people the opportunity to maintain their knowledge, asking the older generation to pass the expertises acquired during a lifetime to the younger one.34 There is a global priority to improve the design of the products available on the market to be more inclusive without the necessity of second-hand adaptations. The need for design change is not only limited to consumers' products but also, to infrastructures and public services. Mobility, senses, and memory are the main topics of attention since one or more of them are often compromised while ageing. Communication, signs, printed material, transportation, housing, public buildings, and technological devices must be conceived taking into account an older and digitalized population.

Ageing-related queries (ageing tips) in local domains in Europe on Google seem to address some solutions, or better pieces of advice, to overcome the problems previously states. Nutrition, prevention, and healthy lifestyle dominate the chart (Fig. 11, p.25), leaving a smaller space to human relationships and connection.


The Interviews


Fig. 29 - Map of Europe coloured according to top ageing problems queried in 27 local domain Google search engines in the local language on 15 March 2012

The Interviews



Fig. 30 - The term ‘Ageing Tips’ is queried in 9 local domain Google search engines in the local language: Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom on 29 March 2012

Fig. 31 - The term ‘Ageing’ is queried in 22 local domain Google search engines and the most striking result for each country is displayed on 26-29 March 2012


The Interviews

33 The AGE is an organization which makes and addresses the ageing issues in Europe. 34 Richard Rogers, Natalia Sanchez-Querubin, Aleksandra Kil, Issue mapping for an aging Europe, 2016 (p. 44, p.129).

The Interviews



As previously discussed, ageing is a normal biological phenomenon, affecting both the mind and the body. There is a natural degradation of strength and energy after the 60s. The average person will experience reduced physical abilities such as difficulties climbing stairs, balancing, maneuvering, and walking quickly.35 To sustain an independent lifestyle, human anatomy requires body power, muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and cardioid-respiratory endurance. These capabilities disappear gradually due to less physical training, body sizes, gender, and age-related health problems such as arthritis.


Design should require physical demands, take into consideration mostly old woman abilities changing the characteristics of the body dimensions and power. It should include adjustable features to adapt to different needs. Sensitivity to incoming pieces of information reduces as we age, altering the attributes of our sense organs. The first organ that suffers from physiological change is the eye. The ability to see details, to focus, to differentiate contrasted surfaces, to adapt to brightness and darkness, and to perceive depth decline over the years.


Design should pay attention to the simplicity of communication, clear signs, appropriate font types, non-reflective surfaces, highlighting hazard. An adequate level of lighting in private and public spaces is required depending on the environment.

Physical Health


Sensitivity to hear sounds, exceptionally high frequencies as well as spoken words reduces through the years. Background noise exaggerates hearing impairments when present in a space. If the damages are severe, they can affect the ability to communicate with others and consequently lead to depression due to self-isolation.


Design should allow to adjust volume and audible signals and combine them with a visual aid. Background noise needs to be minimized in crowded environments. Finally, taste and smell are interconnected between them. The decay of one of these two senses results in a lower sensitivity of the other. Both taste buds and odor receptors become numb as we age, resulting in a reduction of pleasure while eating. Many of the pressure, pain, hot/cold receptors die off, changing our ability to perceive different types of touch.

> Design should take into consideration new ways to signal dangerous smells, to enhance food appearance and experience, as well as tactile sensitivity.36

In this chapter, I will analyse which solutions design, at a smaller scale, and architecture, at a larger one, improve older people's life today through the use of technology and social planning. Fig. 32 - Severe and average physical impairment by age. Fig. 33 - Hand-grip strength change in men and woman. Data from two representative national surveys in England (1997). Fig. 34 - Percentage change of four physical capabilities in around 1000 women in England (1997)


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he ed: t eing m i a l Unc about ag ition exhib

Between February and May 2019, the Barbican Cultural Centre commissioned and hosted 'Unclaimed,' a free exhibition about what it means to grow old today. The show blended academic research, personal stories, and creative public engagement analysing the meaning of growing old in a modern society that promotes youth, technology, and globalization. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The installation examines how our childhoods, jobs, health, wealth, families will impact our experience of getting old and when technology is changing everything.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Unclaimed attempts to fill inter-generational gaps by bringing to life the memories and perspectives of an older population. It also questions how society might tackle the inequalities in ageing and create a tangible experience that inspires, provokes, and deepens the understanding of this contemporary phenomenon.23 The curators of the show, The Liminal Space, a practice that uses art and design to make complex social topics accessible for all, recreated a surreal lost property office, a metaphor of our whole life, populated by everyday objects that provide, through coloured tags, relevant facts and provocations about ageing today. The installation consciously does not contain imagery of older people Physical Health


suggesting to move away from that aesthetic and look at the topic with a fresh perspective. As a result, multimedia shoes, books, and binoculars feature text and audio recordings and navigate the guests into the journey, telling data, and personal stories of the elderly adults interviewed.38 The project began in spring 2018 when University College Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gerontology research team, the LINKAGE (Long-term Information and Knowledge on Ageing), conducted interviews to 2,000 people aged over 70 from Camden. The Liminal Space team then, over six months, organized and lead a series of creative workshops that engaged over 150 people from the research cohort and a diverse range of London communities. The goal was to gather personal and philosophical insights of the interviewees, covering as a wide range of narratives as possible, part of a new and heterogeneous London ageing society.39

Fig. 35 - 37 - Unclaimed Exhibition details at the Barbican Centre on April 27, 2019.


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Universal and Inclusive Design As a consequence of the physical body decline, the environment surrounding elderly people from private housing to urban communities, as J.W. Rowe and R.L. Kahn proposed, is the primary factor that creates limitations and opportunities for the individual.40 In 1980 in North Carolina (USA) professor Ronald Mace coined the term Universal Design:41 “Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.” 42 Universal design provides older adults with specific options (e.g., functional grips kitchen and garden tools), allowing the individual to efficiently complete daily routines which ensure a continuous and healthy engagement in life. Integrating useful accessibility features into everyday life without being noticed by all users is a fundamental principle of universal design. Automatic sliding doors, for instance, are standard features at shopping malls, hotels, public transports, and infrastructures. These doors erase the physical barriers to entry/exit spaces for individuals in a wheelchair, and for older adults or young children who have difficulty opening doors. On the other hand, they are a commodity for all customers, able to pass through them handsPhysical Health

free or carrying goods. This simple technological innovation allows accessibility without stigmatization since everyone entering or exiting uses them regardless of their abilities.43 The European response to design for all and gerontechnology, a multidisciplinary field that combines gerontology and technology is Inclusive Design: “Design that considers the full range of human diversity concerning ability, language, culture, gender, age, and other forms of human difference.” 44 Design features are related to issues which mainly concern older women of 60 or over. Women stretched longevity, vulnerability, and medical attention can be summarized to include a financial constraint on access to suitable housing, effects of reduced mobility and declining health on domestic labor and leisure, provision for safety and security and finding a balance between privacy and isolation through various degrees of communal support.45 However, the majority of the research undergone around older people focuses on those living in isolation without taking into consideration the extended social network existing outside the family circle and the variation of lifestyles of the individuals.


les ncip l ! i r P l 7 T h e i g n fo r a s to de

1. Equitable: useful and marketable to differently-abled people 2. Flexibility in use: the design meets the majority of preferences and abilities 3. Intuitive and straightforward: easy to understand despite knowledge 4. Perceptible information: efficient communication despite environment and abilities 5. Tolerance for error: minimisation of involuntary actions 6. Low physical effort: usage with minimum fatigue 7. Size and space: proper approach and use despite body size, posture, and mobility.46


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Small Scale: Everyday Objects Product design is the creative field that seems to respond most efficiently to the age-related physical issues described previously with universal design solutions. Products developed for the market range from ergonomic kitchen tools and kettles, to adapted phones, easy-grasp door handles, shower balance supports, information technology, intuitive electronic devices and any other object that would facilitate independence and a ordinary lifestyle to the elderly population.

curved cross-section shape” are designed for hands with different grasp strength. The acoustic bowl optimizes the sound around the ear, and the contrast of colours is introduced to improve legibility.47

Fig. 38 - BT Big Button Phone Fig. 39 - BT Cordless phone handset, base station and answering machine

With the massive development of ‘sensors’ accompanied by their reduction in size and ubiquity in networked objects - it will be possible to supplement losses in hearing, sight, sensitivity efficiently. To satisfy the needs and desires of the majority of the users, in-depth knowledge of the user himself is critical during the design process. The continuous involvement of the users is indeed fundamental throughout the development of the project. A successful example of a design-for-all everyday product is the cordless phone that BT designed to replace an existing one. The phone needed to satisfy a wide range of users and promote the shift from corded to cordless phones. The key and type size perfect for the corded phone has been adapted to the new ones. The ergonomics of the “soft Physical Health


Medium Scale: Smart Homes

sensing equipment is not discrete but a visible and accepted part of the user’s daily life.

Enlarging the scale of the topic, I am going to talk about the role of technology inside the domestic space of the elderly population. The importance of home is critical in the late ages. The older we get, the stronger becomes the relationship with our heritage. It doesn’t surprise me that all the interviewers desired to spend the late part of their lives and possible death inside their family homes.

The initial project objective was to develop methods for recognizing activities of daily living and moods, which could report early symptoms of "cognitive impairment, frailty, and social exclusion."48

Because of this reason, we can equip the houses with the right tools to reach the best comfort, convenience and safety for the elderly through automation systems which feature smart locks, medical alert devices, diary facility, automated thermostats & lights and motion alert. The home becomes Smart. Smart homes monitor inhabitants behaviours using sensors and improve the elderly comfort, safety by predicting the inhabitant’s situations and making the right decision. For instance, fall is the most significant causes of injury for older people. This statistic has led to developing many types of fall-detection systems that can predict the danger and take a suitable action such as calling the potential caregiver.

Bots, AIs, and conversational interfaces such as Google Home and Alexa have become a vast trend in design recently, helping residents to call, reminding them agendas and problem-solving. However, the smart home of the future and its appliances and interfaces will need to be smart enough to be designed for an elderly mind.

Fig. 40 - Google Home by Google and Alexa by Amazon, smart home systems

An example of integrated technology in interiors is RADIO, a smart home/ assistance robot system where sensing equipment is integrated into the user’s daily life. This system pursuits a novel approach to acceptance and unobtrusiveness: a system where the 47

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Fig. 41 - Still frame: Gauntâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concept imagining the smart home of the future as having a box full of bots that can link their functionality together to battle boredom in the elderly.

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L and XL Scale: Almshouses and Communities Many times seniors, unfortunately, need to move out of their family homes. Despite the psychological difficulties, a great option is to move to a senior community village with facilities and peer neighbours at hand. Moving to a new dwelling could create mental barriers. The challenge is to develop practical, accessible, adaptable, care-ready environments that look and feel like home. Elderly housing plans need to be tailored, comfortable, small, informal, and focused spaces with pleasant views, extended outdoors, sunlight, functional furniture, privacy concern, facilitate access and indoor shared entertaining areas. Residents with shared interests and backgrounds are keen to live together in a lifestyle-group interacting with each other. For instance, the London architecture firm, Witherford Watson Mann, focuses on "integration rather than segregation." A complex of 57 flats for over-75s will be built in Bermondsey, London. "The project is based on the traditional almshouse model of charitable housing for pensioners but updated for the 21st century. Traditionally almshouses were set back behind a fence, but we wanted to create a version that would tackle the problem of isolation. It will have a lounge that opens directly on to the high street.” explains Witherford. Furthermore, the building block will provide the community with a cookery school, a performance space, a rooftop Physical Health

t, and a workshop. Like so, the elderly residents perform or watch plays, hold craft fairs and cake sales. The area will be open to the public and will encourage the neighbourhood to get involved. All the services will also be nearby, and there is a bus stop for trips straight into Central London.”49 In 2016 the Aging in Place Guide outlined how simple design choices can allow seniors to live independently and safely for longer. Karen Kubey, who edited the guide with the DFTA and AIA New York Chapter Design for Aging Committee, stated: “From preventing falls through something as simple as choosing the right kind of carpet to designing beautiful, welcoming shared spaces to help address social isolation, architects and interior designers have the chance to improve and even extend, the lives of seniors.” 50 Proctor & Matthews Architects will develop 100% private later living apartments with the Chapter House scheme in Lichfield, Staffordshire. "The 38-dwelling development makes uses of internal and external facilities to encourage neighbourly interaction between new residents and locals, nurturing a sense of community and security." The scheme features a communal lounge, a sequence of cloisters and walled gardens that offer a tranquil sheltered environment. A working orangery and two publicly accessible parks provide opportunities for outdoor activities and interaction with the broader community. 50

The larger Steepleton Retirement Community has been designed similarly integrating a village hall at the centre of the 113-apartment development containing communal facilities and individual homes grouped around courtyard gardens.51 Creating an inclusive environment and a relationship-based support system inside the communities is fundamental. Shared indoor and outdoor spaces help senior citizens fight loneliness and support a healthy lifestyle. A thriving community must inevitably focus its design on improving common contact points among internal and external individuals encouraging social interaction without damaging privacy and independence. The invented Italian word ‘solinsieme’, name of a project awarded the


Age Award 2007 by the Swiss Age Fundation, perfectly summarizes this concept merging the words ‘alone’ and ‘together’: independent housing with a communal form of living.52 However, one of the most common problems for older people in planned communities is the lack of contact with the younger population and the fear of a ‘ghetto’ environment detached from the usual mixture of ages as it happens into the Atago apartment blocks in the suburbs of Tokyo.53 For this reason, in the later chapters, we will look at co-living and intergenerational living schemes aimed to bring the younger and older generations together mutually supporting each other. Fig. 42 - The site plan for the Steepleton Retirement by Proctor Matthew Architects

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Fig. 43 - Traditional Almshouse in 18th century


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Fig. 44 - Courtyard perspective view of Witherford Watson Mann's new Almshouse in Bermondsey, London.

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35 Park, Porteus p. 11.

2018) <

36 J. W. Rowe and R. L. Kahn, “Human aging: usual


and successful,” Science, vol. 237, no. 4811, pp.

housing-design-is-maturing> [Accessed 25 Nov 2018].

143–149 (1987) <

53 Feddersen Eckhard, Lüdtke Insa, Living for the

content/237/4811/143> [Accessed 15 Feb 2019].

Elderly: A Design Manual (Berlin, 2009).

37 Unclaimed leaflet (London, 2019).

54 How Tokyo's suburban housing became vast

38 The Barbican London 'Unclaimed': everything

ghettoes for the old (June 2019) <https://www.

you need to know about the new exhibition about

ageing (January 2019) <



old> [Accessed 11 June 2019].

exhibition-life-rewired-a4050576.html> [Accessed 13 May, 2019]. 29 Press room - Reimagining old age: free Barbican installation investigates what it means to grow old today <> [Accessed 13 May, 2019]. 40 Rowe, Kahn, p.37. 41 The principles of universal design (January 1997) < ud/udprinciplestext.htm> [Accessed 04 Apr. 2019]. 42 M. F. Story, “Maximizing usability: the principles of universal design,” Assistive Technology, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 4–12 (1998). 43 Universal Design: A Step toward Successful Aging (September 2012) < journals/jar/2013/324624> [Accessed 04 Apr. 2019]. 44 What is Inclusive Design, OCAD University < online-resources/articles-and-papers/443whatisinclusivedesignc>[Accessed 04 Apr. 2019]. 45 Cavanagh, Sue, Designing housing for older woman (London, 1992). 46 Clarkson, John., Inclusive design : design for the whole population (London : Springer, 2003). 47 Clarkson, John p.41. 48 Vangelis, Karkaletsis, RADIO--Robots in Assisted Living: Unobtrusive, Efficient, Reliable and Modular Solutions for Independent Ageing, (Springer, 2019). [Accessed 07 Jan 2019]. 49 Almshouse, Witherford Watson Mann <http://> [Accessed 25 Nov 2018]. 50 Kubey, Karen, Aging in place - Guide for building owners (New York City, 2016). 51 Age-friendly housing design is maturing (March

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Be independent in the late years of life is also related to our cognitive capabilities used to interpret and interact with the world such as learn, remember, solve problems, organize information, and make decisions. Attention and concentration to external inputs, numerical skills, advanced language understanding, and spatial abilities such as orientation and visual synthesis become more difficult with advancing age.


Design should present verbal, visual, and numerical information in a slow, explicit, and simple way. High memory demand should be avoided like sequences of processes or new symbols. External consultation figures can be introduced to support decision making.43 Memory has been shown to decline from an average age of 40. It is the most common example of cognitive capability deteriorating as we age. George Burns, an American comedian, stated: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;By the time you are eighty years old you have learned everything.You only have to remember it.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Though there is no significant loss of knowledge with age, the elderly have difficulties encoding information into long-term memory. 44 There are two types of tasks older individuals struggle with: remembering the context and carrying out a particular action. Short-time memory is indeed more affected than long-time memory among seniors. Among the mental disabilities, dementia is the most serious one today. Mental Health


Memory “Dementia is a condition associated with a decline in the brain’s cognitive ability.” This impairment of the brain can present under different types. Two of them are Alzheimer’s disease (affecting 62% of those diagnosed) and vascular dementia (affecting 17% of those diagnosed). The most common symptoms registered among the old population are loss of memory, problems with language and communication, behavioural and mood changes, and wandering around. Although not all forms of dementia will always aggravate, dementia will degenerate with time if it takes the shape of Alzheimer’s disease.45 Around half of people diagnosed with dementia may experience different realities and beliefs at once. As dementia progresses, this circumstance of living in different worlds becomes more frequent and persistent. And this behaviour can cause significant distress to the person themselves and those around them, especially family and friends.


In the UK, there are 850,000 people with dementia. The trend is set to reach over 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051.46 66% is the average percentage of people with dementia in care homes (63% of men and 71% of women). 311,730 (39%) of people living with dementia over 65 are living in care homes (either residential care or nursing homes) and 493,639 (61%) are living in the community. Dementia in care homes raised from 56% in 2002 to 70% in 2013.47

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Fig. 45 - Vertical slices of a brain afected by Alzheimerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disease, at left, and a normal brain, at right, show considerable shrinkage in the former.

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tia men e D ! to ome wey k Welc ge Hoge Villa

The town of Weesp (The Netherlands) host an extraordinary, unique gated village called Hogeweyk, famous because it has been specifically designed as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;pioneering care facility for elderly people with dementia.â&#x20AC;? Hogeweyk hosts 23 shared houses for 152 dementia-suffering seniors. The building block is laid out like a village. Around the town square, the designers placed "free" services for the residents: a supermarket, a hairdressing salon, a theatre, a pub, and a cafĂŠrestaurant. Two hundred fifty doctors, geriatric nurses, experts, cashiers, grocery-store attendees, and post-office clerks, provide the necessary care 24-hours/day. The whole community is designed to adapt to the challenges a person who has dementia could encounter, creating a concept of tangible hyper-reality. The knowledge and professionalism of the staff is critical inside the structure. Caregivers need to play and adapt to the fictional situations the person affected by dementia creates.48 The interior design which each private house is decorated with reflects a style related to the Dutch heritage and traditions to make residents feel cozy in familiar surroundings. For this reason, Mental Health

seven settings are provided based on where each lived before (p.42):

A. Stedelijk: for those who lived in an urban area of the Netherlands. B. Goois: for those who prefer an aristocratic Dutch ambiance. C. Ambachtelijk: for those who worked as tradespeople or craftsmen/ women. D. Indisch: for those with an attachment to Indonesia and Dutch East Indies. E. Huiselijk: for those who used to be homemakers during their heydays. F. Cultureel: for those who like theatre, cinema, and performing arts. G. Christelijk: for those with a central religious aspect to life. The residents live in shared bungalows in groups of six, seven, or eight. They manage their households washing and cooking daily together with a constant team of staff members. Each house has a bedroom and bathroom, ensuring maximum privacy and autonomy. All 60


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residents meet in the shared living room, kitchen, and dining room.

Technology and Dementia

Although part of the complex is open to the public to promote engagement with ordinary people, the doors are not locked, and the residents can freely walk or cycle around the village, including choosing to visit the free supermarket, cafe or theater. Since counting and math is often a challenge for seniors with dementia, everything within the village gates is included with the “family’s payment plan, and there is no currency exchanged.”49

As much as the population gets older and dementia increases, also technology moves forward and focuses on new methods to make dementia less overwhelming. It is called “assistive technology,” and it helps lower anxiety and stress, establish routines and improve the quality of life promoting autonomy and managing potential safety risks of those affected directly and indirectly by the disease. The best technological innovations which aim to confront this issue are listed in the following categories:52

The Hogewey facility opened in December 2009, designed by architects Molenaar&Bol&VanDillen. The construction cost €19.3 million and was funded primarily by the Dutch government providing €19 million plus funding and sponsorship from local organisations for €1.5 million.50 Thanks to the Dutch health system, placing a family member with dementia here costs the same as an average nursing home (€5,000/month) and is less expensive than a 24/h caregiver at home. This community also provides psychological support and stress-relief for those who don’t have time or training to take care of their family members.51 Fig. 46 (Previous page)- Dementia Village Hogeweyk Site plan: Extended boulevard (1); ‘Vijverpark’ (pond park) (2); Theatre square (3); Boulevard (4); Passage (5); Square with green area (6); ‘Het Grote Plein’ (large square) (7) Fig. 47 - 50 - Dementia Village Hogeweyk rooms From top left: ‘Indian’ lifestyle, ‘Cultural’ lifestyle’, ‘Wealthy’ lifestyle, ‘Urban’ lifestyle.


1. Time

Specifically designed clocks can help ease anxiety due to confusion between day and night.

2. Communication

Especially in memory care, staying in contact with others (close friends and family) is essential to the quality of life. Specifically designed telephones feature a preprogrammed call system with the most frequently dialed numbers and large buttons for easier recognition and motor skills. FaceTime and Skype Video are effective chat services to stay in touch with those geographically distant. As dementia progresses, Talking Mats is a popular app that allows people to communicate feelings by selecting pictures and symbols.

3. Memories

Music on a device has been proven over and over again to help in many different areas of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression. Older people living in Mental Health

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Fig. 51 - CNN reporter interviewing a resident a her husband at the Hogeweyk Dementia Village

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Swansea (Wales) have been using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets to "go back in time" to the pinnacle of their youth. This medium has helped them connect and share their recollection of major national events with their friends and families while reminding them of happy memories and positive emotions.53

3. Safety

Electrical appliances use monitored by detectors which will alert caregivers if their commonly used machines have not been turned on or off. "Home monitoring devices allow lights to be turned on and off, thermostats to be changed and also send alerts via smartphone." In-home cameras, focused on the main rooms or medication, can help control the person is active.

4. Location

Who suffers from dementia is keen to wander around freely. The caregiver can know if their loved one has left a certain area through tracking devices that can be worn, such as the thumbsized portable electronic device ALSOK developed by Sohgo Security Services Co.54

5. Caregiving

Medication management technology could be a simple pillbox or as hightech as automated pill dispensers, which beep and open when the medication is needed. Reminder messages can be recorded on a device in the home and then played back out loud at the appropriate time.

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6. Robots

All these features can be included in a more sophisticated and integral product: the robot. Robots are machines designed "to help, and not replace human caregivers." Three types of personal care robots are available today: mobile servant robot, physical assistant robot, and person carrier robot. While mobile home care robots can perform general housework and help remind people to take their medication or alert medical professionals if assistance is needed, physical assistant and carrier robots can lift and carry people and heavy equipment around, easing the caregivers and busting elderly independent living at home.55 Japan is one most avant-garde countries in the robotics field. Its population is one of the oldest in the world with a decline in birth rate, and the average age is around 47 years old.56 The Japanese seem to have been able to come to terms with robot carers and household devices more easily than the Western world society which still doubts about automated caregivers. Some speculate that it is because the nature of Japanese religion inclines people to allow sentient attributes in objects maybe it is an aspect of the manga culture. Examples of physical and mental assistant robots already sold on the market are Paro, Pepper, and Tree. Paro is an interactive robot in disguised of a furry seal designed to calm aggressive behaviors and keep company to people with dementia. Pepper, a downscaled humanoid dances, waves, and sings while 66

leading and entertaining a group of senior citizens in exercises. The upright Tree is a wearable walking rehabilitation equipment that guides a disabled man walking.57 In Italy and Switzerland, researchers designed a robotic exoskeleton58 prototype that can detect when the wearer is about to fall. “The new Active Pelvis Orthosis (APO) consists of a waist brace holding motors on the hips that move lightweight carbon-fiber links connected to thigh braces. It uses an algorithm that monitors leg movement; if the legs diverge from a natural gait in a way that suggests a slip, the motors apply force to help the legs counteract the slippage.”59 “Robotics cannot solve all of these issues; however, robotics will be able to contribute to some of these difficulties,” says Dr. Hirohisa Hirukawa, director of robot innovation research at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.60

t: nigh k e i v Mo & Fran t Robo

A science-fiction comedy that deals with an aging burglar affected by dementia and the surprising relationship with his new caregiver robot. It is interesting the evolution of the bond with the machine. It is not only a robot but a drinking buddy, a partner, a companion who becomes difficult to reject. This future seems just around the corner, a future where we need to understand what technology will do to us and what it will mean. Fig. 53 - Robot & Frank, DVD box cover, Schreier, Jake, Robot and Frank, (United Kingdom, 2013)

Fig. 52 - Robotic exoskeleton moves the wearer’s legs to restore balance during a fall.


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id afra e b â&#x20AC;&#x2122;t t! Don e robo of th

No m o loneli re ness !

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Fig. 54 - 65 - Care robots with seniors in the domestic and healthcare environment.

Creat ed help y to ou !

. uture f e h t ot It is n s now ! It i

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43 Clarkson, John, p.41.

57 How robots could help care for Japan’s ageing

44 Wolpert, Lewis, p.11.

population (April 2018) <https://www.independent.

45 Dementia <

learning-disabilities/a-to-z/d/dementia> [Accessed 14


Feb 2019].

movement-a8295706.html> [Accessed 04 April 2019].

46 Memory clinics <https://www.dementiastatistics.

58 A powered exoskeleton is a wearable mobile

org/statistics/memory-clinics> [Accessed 14 Feb

machine that is powered by a system of electrics that


allow for body movement with increased strength and

47 Facts for media <


about-us/news-and-media/facts-media> [Accessed

59 This robotic exoskeleton could help prevent falls

14 Feb 2019].

in the elderly (May 2017) <https://www.sciencemag.

48 Dementia Village ‘De Hogeweyk’ in Weesp


(September 2012) <https://www.detail-online.

prevent-falls-elderly> [Accessed 26 April 2019].


60 Japan lays groundwork for boom in robot carers

weesp-16433> [Accessed Dec. 25 2018].

at (February 2018) <

49 CNN’s World’s Untold Stories: Dementia Village,


Youtube (July 2013) <

ofelderly-by-2020> [Accessed 04 April 2019].

watch?v=LwiOBlyWpko> [Accessed Dec. 25 2018]. 50 The Amazing Village in The Netherlands Just for People with Dementia (February 2015) <https://> [Accessed Dec. 25 2018]. 51 Hogewey < Hogewey> [Accessed Dec. 25 2018]. 52 7 Technological Innovations for Those With Dementia,(January 9, 2019) <https://www.alzheimers. net/9-22-14-technology-for-dementia> [February 3 2019]. 53 Can technology combat loneliness and isolation < blog/2018/12/01/can-technology-combat-lonelinessand-isolation> [February 3 2019]. 54 Graying Japan pushes technological innovation for elderly (April 2017) <https://english.kyodonews. net/news/2017/04/b42dce6f1c88feature-grayingjapan-pushestechnological-innovation-for-elderly. html?phrase=older+work&words=working,work,older> [February 3 2019]. 55 Vangelis, Karkaletsis, p.41. 56 Japan Population 2019 <http://> [Accessed 04 April2019].

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Beyond physical and mental health, there is another critical factor to consider for a healthy life in the older age: the relationships with others and its enemy, loneliness. Older people are more vulnerable to feel lonely and socially isolated. This can leads to severe problems such as depression and a decline in well-being. â&#x20AC;&#x153;According to Age UK, more than 2 million people in England over the age of 75 live alone, and more than a million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family memberâ&#x20AC;?.59 Loneliness is mainly aggravated by the loss of partners, friends, and the dispersal of children in an increasingly global world. Other causes of isolation - which affects all of us at any age, class, and gender - varies for each. The most common scenarios are loss of mobility, disabilities, illnesses, and lack of a job or a hobby. Research also relates mental decline and increased mortality to loneliness. Regular social interaction with friends and family has been found to improve health in older adults. In this chapter, I will explore which tools architecture, design, and technology have been developing such as intergenerational living and internet to maintain relationships active and make the elderly feel socially crucial in the late stage of life.

Beyond Health


Technology vs. loneliness Access to communications and social media is a first approach offered to combat loneliness. Although it seems to be counterproductive in the young stages of life, statistics confirm that technology can provide interaction between older people, their family, and their peers.60 Technology, more than ever before, offers people multiple options to talk, see each other, and share pieces of life. Although it will not substitute human contact, technology is becoming a valuable addition to the possibilities of communication. Smart Phone and Tablets Although many seniors still have landlines, intelligent devices are the most common tools to connect with others. Either by calling, messaging or video-calling and sharing images or videos, families, and friends can be interconnected beyond time difference and distance. This process helps the elderly to feel like their families include them in their lives just by knowing what they have been up to. Social Media Facebook,Youtube, Pinterest, or Instagram allows not only to learn new things and stay updated with the world news but also to passively see families and friendsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; private life-events. Internet Sending emails to friends and family and finding community resources through senior centre websites are easy ways to help utilize what available for seniors. 73

On the other hand, contemporary seniors are â&#x20AC;&#x153;digital immigrantsâ&#x20AC;? as unattached primarily to technology. Therefore the design of new technologies must be functional, foregiving, engaging, and it should instill confidence in the user. For defining design guidelines and being able to access an application/ device suitability for elderly users, it is necessary to consider the characteristics of those users concerning software and devices used. According to Nielsen, usability can be expressed and evaluated in terms of 5 attributes:

1. Learnability: should be easy to learn the way to use it. 2. Efficiency: should allow users to achieve their task within a reasonable time. 3. Memorability: should be easy to remember how to use it even after a long period of non-usage. 4. Errors: should prevent user errors and provide a recovery mechanism. 5. Satisfaction: should be pleasant to use (minimize frustration, fatigues, dissatisfy).61

Beyond Health

Co-housing communities The older people get, the more time they spent in the home environment since daily activities are primarily completed in the domestic space and its surroundings. On average, older people tend to spend 80% of their time at home.62 Thus, the neighbourhood becomes a vital element to keep the social network active and vibrant. This fact reveals the importance of the creation of optimal environments for social interactions. An architectural example of a facility that has been designed to provide a great context for social connections between dwellers is the co-housing system. A co-housing community can be described as a “social ecological system.” Such a facility is a community set up by the dwellers themselves, where people can live independently and at the same time have many opportunities for social interaction. A co-housing community consists of private apartments, semiprivate spaces and indoor and outdoor communal areas like activity rooms, shared storage and gardens at low, medium and high densities. The objective of this system is to improve social relationships and increase a sense of community.63 Co-housing promotes a heterogeneous mix of families, races, and generations which help each other living in the same space.

Beyond Health

“Cascina”, the Italian intergenerational archetype. The “Cascina” or “Corte” is a typical agricultural structure of the Po Valley characterized by a large farm in the middle of the countryside. The historical forerunners of the court farmhouse are found in the rustic Roman villa while the maximum diffusion of the farmhouses occurred between 1700 and 1800 when the capitalist organization of agriculture occurred. The plan of this structure is usually quadrangular. The courtyard is at the centre of the construction around which various agricultural buildings are located such as stables, barns, silos, wells, warehouses, mills and peasant houses.


According to the distribution of the buildings around the court, the farmhouses are divided into four types: closed court, open court, side by side building, or a single building. In some cases, the larger farms also feature a tavern, a church and sometimes a school. This structure has important dimensions and once housed various up to 20 families, which counted more than 100 inhabitants. This system promotes an intergenerational way of living where children and grandparents of the same or different families grow up in a shared space, take care of each other, and share knowledge among each other.64

Fig. 66 - Cascina in Villafranca di Verona (IT) from Google maps satellite view

Intergenerational living Intergenerational means involving individuals of different age categories.65 In the urban space, we talk about intergenerational living referring to a housing model that includes younger and older residents. This concept started in the '80s when architects and designers in their 50s and 60s looked at new living options. They sought for a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;third wayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; that solved the issues of living alone in independent units or living in a retirement village inhabited only by elderly people. They wished to include the values of the community, the neighbourhood, and the family in a space that would develop a sense of belonging and connection. Complexes where people of different ages live together in apartment blocks or separate houses seemed to be a valuable solution that met the needs and concerns of the modern era. In intergenerational living models, each individual or family has their own self-contained space surrounded by community spaces used for gatherings, shared meals, workshops/hobbies, and gardens. In more significant complexes, a public cafĂŠ, a laundry, rooms for childcare, special care apartments, and guest rooms could be available. "A complex have 20-30 units and 40-60 residents. Ideally, one-third of the inhabitants (families, singles, solo parents) will be younger than 40, one third 40 to 60 and one third older than 60." Embracing neighbourly co-operation is the main characteristic of intergenerational residents. People


Beyond Health


i g ht : e n e i M ov d M a u d an a ro l d

An American comedy-drama where two different generations meet, fall in love, and explore the meaning of death and life with a tragic-comic perspective. Harold, a 20-year-old obsessed with suicide, meets Maude, an 80-yearold, who teaches him to live life to its fullest. The movie is a representation of the power of friendships and love that goes beyond age differences, class, and stereotypes. It is important to note how the older generation acts as a model for the personal growth of the younger one.

support each other shopping, driving, running errands, dealing with administration, supervising children, taking care of ill neighbours, and sharing experiences.66 The balance between private, communal, and public spaces, and the presence of different age classes, leads to several collective benefits. Firstly, the seniors can contribute in meaningful ways to society, being integrated and accepted as precious individuals. As a consequence, loneliness is prevented. Physical and mental health improve, maintaining an independent lifestyle, and individual decision-making.Younger larger families or families which relatives live in a different place can count on children support, finding surrogate grandparents, aunts, uncles in among the new community. Finally, solo parents or one-child families can benefit from a broader sense of belongings.67 The urban environment surrounding the complex will need to facilitate the engagement of the elderly in the greater community and viceversa. In a few years, mobility around town and 'A to B' connections will be more manageable, and the older population will be able to do so more independently. Some seniors already use a scooter or mini cars (arguably without the need of a driver license), others, use public transportation which, however, becomes frustrating for unpredictable physical barriers, waiting times and noise. Assuming that everybody can interact with a smart-phone, technology is increasingly improving people's mobility through the use of car-sharing apps. While speculating on a near future,

Beyond Health


the commercialization of automated and electric vehicles (as the recent "Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018" might suggest)68 will move people around without many limitations anymore. Trust and accuracy of the devices will be the main subject of concern. "Office for National Statistics estimates suggest that the number of households with three generations living together had risen from 325,000 in 2001 to 419,000 in 2013 [...] The Resolution Foundation says about 20% of 25-34-year-olds live with their parents, compared with 16% in 1991. The total number of all multigenerational households in Britain is thought to be about 1.8 million."69 A new alternative typology of living is created being beneficial both to the broader society by encouraging interculturalism and to the government agencies cutting social spendings' costs.

w : a ne l s a t i de an H u m - c a re m o th heal

The Netherlands is again pioneer of new schemes and architectural proposals that challenge the ways we typically view housing for the older population. As student housing is increasingly difficult to come by, and long-term elderly facilities are elitarian and complex to manage, the Residential and Care Centre Humanitas in Deventer offers a new model to integrate young and old. Humanitas is a long-term care facility where "in exchange for 30 hours of volunteer work per month, students are able to stay in vacant rooms there free of charge." The students, as part of their volunteer agreement, spend time helping the older residents running errands, cooking meals, teaching them new practical and digital skills, or simply sharing experiences with them. Living and sharing every day with a younger person represents for the residents a link to the outside world and a way to reminisce their youth. Since Humanitas opened in 2012, the intergenerational living model has been applied to other two nursing homes in the Netherlands, the Judson Manor retirement community in Cleveland (USA), and ESDES inter-gĂŠnĂŠrations, a young-old pairing system in Lyon, France.70

On the left Fig. 67 - Harold and Maude, theatrical release poster (United States, 1971)


Beyond Health

Fig. 68 - Multigenerational housing at Chobham Manor in east London. Courtesy of PRP Architects


Beyond Health

Fig. 69 - Nick Bright and Kathryn Whitehead at home in Bristol with their daughters and Rita Whitehead.. Courtesy of Adrian Sherratt/The Observer

Beyond Health


59 Loneliness in older people < conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/loneliness-inolder-people> [Accessed February 3 2019]. 60 Combating elderly loneliness through technology <> [Accessed February 3 2019]. 61 Vangelis, Karkaletsis, p.41. 62 Baltes, M. M., Maas, I., Wilms, H.-U., Borchelt, M. F., & Little, T., (1999). Everyday competence in old and very old age: Theoretical considerations and empirical findings. Cambridge, England 63 J.T. Bouma, W. A. Poelman, A.I.M Voorbij, Supporting social contact design principles in common areas of cohousing communities. 64 Cascina a corte < Cascina_a_corte> [Accessed 03 June 2019]. 65 Merriam-Webster <https://www.merriam-webster. com/dictionary/intergenerational> [Accessed 11 June 2019]. 66 Intergenerational Living: introduction (July 2010) <> [Accessed 11 June 2019]. 67 Intergenerational Living: Benefits (July 2010) <> [Accessed 11 June 2019]. 68 Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 (July 2018) < automatedandelectricvehicles.html> [Accessed 16 June 2019]. 69 All under one roof (March 2019) <https://www.> [Accessed 16 June 2019]. 70 The Nursing Home Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Also a Dorm (October 2015) <> [Accessed 28 April 2019].

Beyond Health



In the last ten years, gerontologists, architects, and sociologists analysed to what extent the physical urban environment affects seniors' everyday lives. Can we consider older people as urban citizens? How can we think about the relationship between older adults and the city beyond the physical impact? When can senior people claim the urban space as their own? The World Health Organization (WHO), in 2006, started to develop an 'AgeFriendly Cities' movement, an international system of 200 member cities and communities which desire to design age-friendly urban environments. The guide can be seen as the first 'policy response' to the global ageing phenomenon and the first project that re-think social, cultural, and physical infrastructures from the senior citizens' point of view. WHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a global guide is 'a practical framework to help cities develop their age-friendly programs and initiatives' based on a study carried with 33 older people worldwide. Eight interrelated areas shape the Age-friendly City concept: outdoor space and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion civic participation and employment, communication and information, community support and health services. 'Age-friendliness endorses citizenshipbased models of aging, foregrounds older peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agency - and challenges conventional,bio-medical health and social care account of aging.'

Beyond Health


It allows creative urban practitioners to city space are the recurring themes The eight domains of an Age-friendly City look beyond current concepts such as of age-friendliness. The Age-friendly from design', the Global Age-friendly Citiesre-positions guide (2007) co-housing,['active and 'healthy' movement senior]citizens at cities and to design seniors' experiences the centre of Age-friendly City's process in the city space with the idea of and political production. integral participation. It promotes a type of thinking that goes beyond the standard design responses to the ageing body, focusing instead on empowering 3 possible engagement with people's relationships to the urban environment. Involvement, collaboration, participation, and co-design with older Fig. 70 - The eight domains of an Age -friendly City, Global people as active social agents in the Age-friendly Cities guide (2017)

infrastructures of urban environments from the perspe tive of â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and through the active participation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of older people themselves. Based on research conducted with older people in 3 cities from across the world, the idea of the Age-friendly City is articulated in the WHOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s global guide: a practica Beyond Health 83 framework to help cities develop their own Age-friendly

PAST AND FUTURE In this paper, I raised the implications of a current worldwide ageing population phenomenon. Through personal interviews and cross-disciplinary research I analysed how growing old is perceived nowadays and which tangible and theoretical solutions our modern society offers. Then, I identified three main common areas of vulnerability, particularly acute in old age. The three topics took into consideration the physical and mental health, and the relationships between generations, specifying for each macro-domain how architecture, design, and technology are tackling the related issues. As the lowest common denominator, I found two critical elements to take in consideration. The first one is the relationship between elderly and technology. Many elderly people may be already able to leap over the difficulties of digital, technical activities, accepting their ‘companion’ devices as members of the family or friends. However, one of the biggest challenges is to help older adults to trust new digital companions and assistants. A ‘trusting technology’ movement needs to be constituted. The main problem is that, although the designs and facilities are available, they are often psychologically or emotionally alien to older people due to lack of knowledge or experience. To redeem these useful and sensorial additive devices, designers need to consider products’ education, training, and familiarization. Designers How-to take care of the old

need to find successful and friendly interfaces that make especially over 65 Baby Boomers trust what they may judge as ‘machines’ or ‘toys,’ although this problem will soften as the successive generations - X, Millennial and Z will get older. Indeed, knowing how to communicate through technology is critical in a modern global age where families and friends might be living at distances and traveling is more accentuated. Learning to live with ‘robots’ and Artificial Intelligence may become a vital part of growing old soon with some comfort - mental and physical - both for the individuals themselves and their carers. Secondly, the necessity to be involved in the community and how aged adults can be brought back in touch with young people is vital to avoid isolation and discrimination. One of the problems for older people in planned communities is the lack of contact with the younger ones and the fear of a ‘ghetto’ atmosphere detached from the usual mixture of ages. This situation becomes more acute when we take into consideration people with dementia or elderly ones living in the countryside although automated electrical vehicles could be a solution. As a result, there are ways of designing the physical environment to bring old and young people together with each other - the experiments of creating intergenerational and open communities within the metropolis seem particularly valuable. The importance of recreating the Italian ‘Cascina’ environment within the city becomes critical. Adapting to shared communal spaces with others 84

- family, friends, or even strangers might be a necessity for the majority of the young and old population that can not afford private housing. This action will not necessarily mean to lose self-independence. Instead, it might mean to be open to new ways of living and design new typologies of building, extensions, or conversions that can support the communities to stay together. Under different circumstances, nursing homesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; accommodations which tend to be generally depressing, will need design thinking that makes them less so, arguably reminiscing somehow of the tenants' heydays and equipped with the most advanced smart-home technologies. A significant change needs to be executed at a larger scale level in guiding and planning a reconceptualization of communities and the whole of society. While solutions from the future such as robotics and Artificial Intelligence might be embraced and implemented with the analog side of our society, social and architectural archetypes from the past should be revisited and upgraded to revive in the modern world. Designing for the elderly engages a lot of levels of thought and implementation - not only ingenious re-design but a sensitive and empathetic understanding of the situation of older people and their specific disadvantages in flourishing in an increasingly digital culture.


How-to take care of the old

How-to take care of the old


Fig. 71 - Ă&#x2DC;restad Retirement Home in Copenhagen, designed by local practice JJW ARKITEKTER

How-to take care of the old


71 Handler Sophie, An alternative age-friendly handbook (UK 2014).

How-to take care of the old



How-to take care of the old


aging in 2011 (Richard Rogers, Natalia Sanchez-Querubin,

Fig. 1 - I, Daniel Blake, theatrical release poster (UK 2016)

Fig. 29 - Map of Europe coloured according to top ageing


problems queried in 27 local domain Google search

Aleksandra Kil, Issue mapping for an aging Europe, 2016 p. 50-51).

engines in the local language on 15 March 2012 (Richard Fig. 2 - Bill Viola, Man Searching for Immortality/Woman

Rogers, Natalia Sanchez-Querubin, Aleksandra Kil, Issue

Searching for Eternity, 2013. Courtesy of Royal Accademy

mapping for an aging Europe, 2016 p. 123).

of Arts Fig. 30 - The term ‘Ageing Tips’ is queried in 9 local domain Fig. 3 - Share of elderly (65 or over) among the total

Google search engines in the local language: Belgium,

population in the UK, Eurostat, the Statistical office

Estonia, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland,

of European Union <

Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom on 29 March 2012


(Richard Rogers, Natalia Sanchez-Querubin, Aleksandra Kil, Issue mapping for an aging Europe, 2016 p. 132).

Fig. 4 - Years men and women at age 65 expect to live , Eurostat, the Statistical office of European Union

Fig. 31 - The term ‘Ageing’ is queried in 22 local domain


Google search engines and the most striking result for


each country is displayed on 26-29 March 2012 (Richard Rogers, Natalia Sanchez-Querubin, Aleksandra Kil, Issue

Fig. 5 - UNDESA Population division, World population

mapping for an aging Europe, 2016 p. 129).

prospects: the 2015 revision (DVD Edition, 2015) <https://

Fig. 35 - 37 - Unclaimed Exhibition details at the


Barbican Centre on April 27, 2019 - Author's image.

Fig. 6 - 17 - Population Pyramids based on gender and age:

Fig. 38 - BT Big Button Phone (Clarkson, John., Inclusive

world, Japan, UK, USA, Italy, UAE, Russian Federation,

design : design for the whole population (London :

China, India, Australia, South America, Africa - https://

Springer, 2003). Fig. 39 - BT Cordless phone handset, base station and Fig. 18, 19 - Arakawa and Gin's Bioscleave house exteriors

answering machine (Clarkson, John., Inclusive design :

and interiors., Brown Harris Stevens at <https://https://

design for the whole population (London : Springer, 2003).>.

Fig. 40 - Google Home by Google and Alexa by Amazon, smart home systems <

Fig. 21 - 25 - (On right, from top left to bottom right) Liz


Smith, Lionel Blair, Kenneth Kendall, Derek Jameson,


Dickie Bird, and Sylvia Syms’ portraits at <https://www.> .

Fig. 41 - Still frame: Gaunt’s concept imagining the smart home of the future as having a box full of bots that can link

Fig. 26 - Mother's interview / 15 February 2019 - Skype -

their functionality together to battle boredom in the elderly.

Author's image.


Fig. 27 - Dafne seating on her armchair during the

Fig. 42 - The site plan for the Steepleton Retirement,

interview on 6 April 2019 at Holt, Norfolk - Author's image.

Proctor Matthew Architects at <https://www.architecture. com/knowledge-and-resources/knowledge-landing-

Fig. 28 - Map of the mentions of common issues related to

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Fig. 43 - Traditional Almshouse in 18th century<http://www.

Fig. 67 - Harold and Maude, theatrical release poster>.

(United States, 1971) < tt5168192>.

Fig. 44 - Courtyard perspective view of Witherford Watson Mann's new Almshouse in Bermondsey, London

Fig. 68 - Multigenerational housing at Chobham Manor


in east London. Courtesy of PRP Architects <https://


Fig. 45 - Vertical slices of a brain afected by Alzheimer’s disease, at left, and a normal brain, at right, show

Fig. 69 - Nick Bright and Kathryn Whitehead at home

considerable shrinkage in the former, National Geographic

in Bristol with their daughters and Rita Whitehead..

Your Brain: A User’s Guide (100 Things You Never Knew)

Courtesy of Adrian Sherratt/The Observer<https://

Single Issue Magazine – 2019.>.

Fig. 46 - Dementia Village Hogeweyk Site plan: Extended boulevard (1); ‘Vijverpark’ (pond park) (2); Theatre square

Fig. 70 - The eight domains of an Age -friendly City, Global

(3); Boulevard (4); Passage (5); Square with green area

Age-friendly Cities guide (2017).

(6); ‘Het Grote Plein’ (large square) (7); ‘Oosthoek’ (eastern corner) (8) (Drawing: Niek Roozen, Weesp at <https://

Fig. 71 - Ørestad Retirement Home in Copenhagen,

designed by local practice JJW ARKITEKTER,


Alamy/Torben Eskerod< knowledge-and-resources/knowledge-landing-page/

Fig. 47 - 50 Dementia Village Hogeweyk rooms From top


left: ‘Indian’ lifestyle, ‘Cultural’ lifestyle’, ‘Wealthy’ lifestyle, ‘Urban’ lifestyle KopArt, Amstelveen <https://www.>. Fig. 51 - CNN reporter interviewing a resident a her husband at the Hogeweyk Dementia Village, Youtube, <>. Fig. 52 - Robotic exoskeleton moves the wearer’s legs to restore balance during a fall. Courtesy of Hillary Sanctuary/Epfl < news/2017/05/robotic-exoskeleton-could-help-preventfalls-elderly>. Fig. 53 - Robot & Frank, DVD box cover, Schreier, Jake, Robot and Frank, (United Kingdom, 2013) <>. Fig. 54 - 65 - Care robots with seniors in the domestic and healthcare environment (Google Images). Fig. 66 - Cascina in Villafranca di Verona (IT) from Google maps satellite view.


How-to take care of the old


ONLINE RESOURCES 7 Technological Innovations for Those With


Dementia,(January 9, 2019) <https://www.alzheimers. net/9-22-14-technology-for-dementia> [February 3

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(London, 1992).

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population (London : Springer, 2003).

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About Ellen <>

(UK 2014).

[Accessed 09 June, 2019].

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owners (New York City, 2016).

market for $1,495,000 (February 2019) <https://www.

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Faber; Main edition (19 April 2012).

[Accessed 15 Feb 2019].

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All under one roof (March 2019) <https://www.

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(London, 2018). Almshouse, Witherford Watson Mann <http:// Prince M, Albanese E, Guerchet M, Prina M. World

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southwark> [Accessed 25 Nov 2018].

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Prince M, Knapp M, Guerchet M, McCrone P, Prina M,

automatedandelectricvehicles.html> [Accessed 16

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house-lifespan-extending-villa> [Accessed 15 Feb

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2016. Cambridge Dictionary <https://dictionary.cambridge. Vangelis, Karkaletsis, RADIO--Robots in Assisted

org/dictionary/english/accessibility>[Accessed 07

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Cambridge Dictionary <https://dictionary.cambridge.

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Cambridge Dictionary <https://dictionary.cambridge.


org/dictionary/english/gerontology>[Accessed 07

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[Accessed Dec. 25 2018].

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Can technology combat loneliness and isolation




movement-a8295706.html> [Accessed 04 April 2019].

and-isolation> [February 3 2019]. How Tokyo's suburban housing became vast ghettoes Cascina a corte <

for the old (June 2019) <

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How-to take care of the old


INTERVIEWS Author’s interview with Maria Rosa (February 15, 2018). Author’s interview with Daphne (April 7, 2018).

MOVING IMAGES Ashby Hal, Harold and Maude ( USA 1971) Loach Ken, I, Daniel Blake (United Kingdom, 2016) Schreier, Jake, Robot and Frank, (United Kingdom, 2013) Bots - Battling Boredom in Smart Homes, Kevin (2016) <>. Hogeweyk Dementia Village, Youtube (July 2013) <https://>.


How-to take care of the old

a NEW way O Aging is gre Join us!

How-to take care of the old


Of LIVING. eat,


How-to take care of the old

This volume was printed at: Online Reprographics 116 Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street Islington, London, N1 0QH

Š ADALBERTO LONARDI 2019 Concepts and visual content contained in this document are Intellectual Property of Adalberto Lonardi Studio. any copying, distribution or other action taken in reliance on it is prohibited.


How-to take care of the old

The concept of aging successfully has become increasingly crucial as statistics predict that the total number of individuals over 65 is projected to nearly double before 2050. The urban environment directly impacts the engagement profiles of older adults, and it is necessary to provide spaces designed to match the needs of the elderly. Based on my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s concerns and anticipations of her future, this book investigates how architecture, design, and technology can be age-friendly, mitigating some of the losses that come with old age. This research looks at the relationships between gerontology and the disciplines of architecture, sociology, and technology. These fields inform the understanding of the fundamental behaviours and needs of the elderly and possible future solutions such as co-design, multigenerational living, and smart-homes to guarantee our future generations' a healthy and comfortable senior life.

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How to take care of the old  

This research book looks at the relationships between gerontology and the disciplines of architecture, sociology, and technology. These fiel...

How to take care of the old  

This research book looks at the relationships between gerontology and the disciplines of architecture, sociology, and technology. These fiel...