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Ageing in Hong Kong? Study on Local Elderly Housing and Multi-generational Living in Future

2.02 ‘Universal Design’ and Home Modifications Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORC) stands for housing or neighbourhoods where a large portion of residents are elderly people. The communities were not purpose-built for the elderly, but are places in which elderly people have been living since youth. There are currently a significant number of empty-nest elderly residents in public housing built in the 1960s. Most of these residents are reluctant to move out as they have decades of memories attached, despite their facilities no longer suit their needs for daily living.5

Since 2000, HKHS has started ongoing renovations and improvement works to enhance facilities in existing housing estates, so as create a more user-friendly and safer living environment for elderly residents. Works include the enhancement of lift services, provision of barrier-free access and ab increase in social gathering spaces and facilities. It improves elderly people’s accessibility throughout the estate, thus creating stronger social capital within the community.6 Complimentary home modifications are also conducted for elderly residents to increase independence, make tasks easier and improve safety by preventing falls.7 Public housing providers also start incorporating ‘universal design’ into new developments to create living environments suitable for all, regardless of age or physical conditions.8 ‘Universal design’ is closely related to ‘accessibility design’, but however has distinct principles. While ‘accessibility design’ focuses on those with limited mobility and specialized needs, ‘universal design’ extracts those features from ‘accessibility design’ that can become the norm to benefit everyone. ‘Universal design’ is invisible when it is most effective.9

Year 5 Thesis  

Ageing in Hong Kong? Study on Local Elderly Housing & Multi-generational Living in Future

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