National Aging In Place Week 2011; Considering Design

National Aging



This week is National Aging in Place Week.  I was thoughtful of an article I read over last week, highlighting some innovative architectural design coming out of the Pacific Northwest.   Good design really plays a role in living well in the homes we’ve chosen to live in.

A 2010 survey from the AARP entitled “Home and Community Preferences of the 45+ Population” shows that almost three quarters of the respondents want to remain in their current residence for as long as possible and over sixty percent would like to remain in the local community as long as possible.  Approximately 25% of respondents stated that they would stay in their local community because they could not afford to move.  The survey can be found in a PDF at;

“Gordon Walker has been a practicing architect since 1962. He worked for Ralph Anderson, cofounded Olson Walker Architects and was a principal at NBBJ. In 1992 he founded Walker Architects and is now a consulting principal at Mithun.”  Mr. Walker was featured in last Sunday’s Pacific Northwest Magazine in the Seattle Times.  He was quoted in the article saying; “I spent my whole life planning for others,” he says. “You begin to formulate at an older age what you might want to do. This house is on 10 acres in the woods overlooking the water. But it’s still 10 acres to be cared for.”  The article further laid out essential considerations of nurturing design; Considered in the plan are the four C’s of nurturing design — the ability to: continue activities and relationships; compensate for disabilities (“Things just fall off when you get older.”); contribute in the community, such as in classes for art and exercising; and challenge the mind with a nearby library and, perhaps, museum.