Striving for our lifetime home
Published May 22nd, 2017
Moving house is up there with starting a new job and a relationship breakdown as one of life’s most stressful experiences. It can entail changing many aspects of our lives, from those little things like our broadband provider, to major changes such as our children’s schools and our wider community. This is why many of us would prefer to adapt our current homes than change our address. This is particularly the case as we grow older and are settled in our existing homes and communities.
As the population of the UK is aging and life has a tendency to throw up unexpected events that change our circumstances and therefore the requirements of the homes we live in, it is increasingly important to design and plan our homes to ensure that they best accommodate the various stages of our life cycles and adapt to the different circumstances we may encounter.
It is, of course, impossible to predict all of the requirements that we may have of our home during our lifetime and therefore avoid any adaptations. Nonetheless, being aware of the most likely scenarios during the planning and design process is important if our home is to meet our future needs and enable us to remain in it for as long as possible.
Many people are aware of the more common design features that help to meet the needs of people with impairments or disabilities. For example, the importance of enabling wheelchair user access. However, other modest design features can be of significant importance in assisting people to remain in their homes for longer.
This is certainly the case for people living with Dementia. The number of people with Dementia is rising and many of us will know of people that are affected by this condition. It is increasingly important that consideration is given to Dementia in the design and planning of new development. This will give people living with the condition the reassurance of living in their own homes and within their communities for as long as possible, increasing their quality of life, helping them to live longer and reducing pressures on health care provision.
Small changes to the design of a home can have a large impact on those suffering from Dementia. For example, features such as handrails, good lighting, soundproofing and the avoidance of reflective surfaces can all significantly improve sufferer’s quality of life and assist them to be more independent. In larger housing developments features that improve the accessibility, legibility and safety of a development layout should be provided.
No one knows what life has in store for them. However, with careful design and planning of our developments, from a small residential extension to a large housing estate, we may be better prepared for the journey ahead.
If you need assistance with the planning and design of your development, please do contact the planning and architectural team at Berrys (firstname.lastname@example.org) and one of the team will be happy to help.