U of M Expert: Designing homes to age and live in place
September is Healthy Aging Month and while many individuals already know the importance of adjusting diets and exercise habits as they age, few think about the design of their homes. As people age, the design of their homes— and the furnishings and tools within those homes—will also need to change to accommodate them.
University of Minnesota College of Design Professor Marilyn Bruin is available to provide comment on the changes that can be made to housing to help more people stay independent as they age.
"Baby boomers, 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964, comprise nearly 26% of the population. The majority believe they will be able to stay in their current homes as they age. If they cannot stay in their current home, 85% of individuals aged 50 and older would like to remain in their community.
As this segment of the population ages, community planners need to understand Boomers’ needs, expectations, and preferences as they plan the development and sustainability of resilient, vital communities that support healthy, active living."
Dr. Marilyn Bruin is a professor in the Housing Studies program at the University of Minnesota College of Design. Her research interests include affordable housing, senior housing, urban neighborhoods, community development, and biographical narratives.
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