Trans-Generational Construction: USA

Senior Housing E-Review, published by the National Center for Senior Housing Research, is a valuable source of information on the real-world application of universal design. Here is a group that is cutting-edge with regard to educating on the disablement that accomopanies ageing and profiling practical solutions.

Here is one example from the current issue that illustrates their grasp of the market:

from: Living Choices Need New Terms for Aging Baby Boomers

The first wave of boomers is approaching retirement age in large numbers. And according to Stephen Golant, a UF geography professor and national authority on housing for the aging, they have a different vision about where they want to live.

Baby boomers have benefited from improved fitness and are generally healthier than previous generations. Nonetheless, Golant points out that most of the attention on seniors housing in recent years has focused on frail and vulnerable elders, and declines in their abilities to live independently.

As a result, Golant focuses on developing new language to describe where older people live "that reflects the much more positive image older people have of themselves - even those with chronic health problems and physical impairments." He has coined the term DOUERs, pronounced "do-ers," for "deliberately occupied but unplanned elder residences," in order to describe the growing number of townhouses, apartment buildings, subdivisions, neighborhoods, towns, communities and even small cities that are attracting an increasing share of older Americans.

Another acronym is "PERCs," which stands for "planned elder residential complexes," or active adult retirement communities with congregate housing and assisted living communities. PERCs include a diverse array of assisted living and continuing-care retirement communities, but also include upscale active adult retirement communities. According to Golant, PERCs are increasingly found outside the traditional Sunbelt, in states such as New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Illinois and South Carolina, despite their colder climates.

For more information, read the complete press release.

02/27/04 Volume 37

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