With a growing aging population and advanced medical care helping people live longer than ever before, aging-in-place design is in high demand. More people are recognizing the benefit of staying at home for longer, and most want to avoid institutionalized care for as long as possible. Certified interior designers are at the front line of helping homeowners achieve these goals with design and remodeling for aging-in-place. Trained in recognizing the risks associated with poor home design and in the principles used to convert a space to be amenable to aged care, certified interior designers can assist in transforming a home or commercial space to support aging-in-place.
Along with this goal, advancing technology is changing the options available to homeowners every year and contributing to creating safer, healthier and more accessible environments. It’s essential that certified interior designers stay up to date on the technological advances that are constantly improving aging in place design. Here we look at some of the ways technology supports design for aging-in-place and what a certified interior designer should keep in mind when designing for aging-in-place.
Start With The Basics
Aging-in-place design focuses on making living at home easier for the elderly. Certified interior designers specialize in this area by planning space and furniture placement to facilitate the easy movement of aged homeowners, and making living at home easier. While increasing technological features of a home can improve safety, wellbeing and functionality as well, starting with this basic level of ergonomic design and home coordination is essential.
As medical research recognizes the importance of a safe and supportive living spaces, collaboration between health professionals and designers is paramount. By analyzing the specific abilities of an individual and providing movement and biomechanical analyses, the health professional can support the certified interior designer in applying a more specific and targeted approach to aging-in-place design that supports each individual’s unique needs and capabilities.
Coordination and Integration
Technology is also facilitating the coordination and integration of different services that facilitate aging-in-place and home care. Designated care coordination software is becoming more popular as a way of communicating between the many services that work together to support aging-in-place. This can help all care providers see at a glance what services an individual is receiving, and how they can be best integrated to assist and support the individual.
For certified interior designers, this information helps to place a focus on what areas of design are most pertinent and useful to the individual, allowing designers to address specific needs and requirements more easily and rapidly.
Wearable technology for care monitoring and emergency assistance is becoming the standard in both aging-in-place design for homes and institutions. Interior design can support wearable technology by providing ‘stations’ where wearable technology can be monitored, charged or stored. Designers can also provide furniture, equipment or design that works with wearable technology, allowing the user to get more out of the equipment and facilitating better outcomes.
While technology and healthcare developments are helping us live longer, these advances are also helping to support comfortable and safe aging-in-place. Certified interior designers will increasingly draw on the many technological improvements to assist in making aging-in-place design more individualized, safe, and comfortable.