Architecturalising Aged Care Delivery for Urban Dwelling Elderly
The world’s demographics are drastically changing, with people living longer and are healthier as they age (WHO, 2018). By 2050 the world’s population over65 years old will be 17% almost double 8.5% in 2015 (Cire, 2016). Architecture for aged care, evolved out of necessity to separate sick aging people to reduce their chance of mortality and exposure to disease. The typology of care has taken on a more homelike approach over the last 60 years as research suggests that better health outcomes and better quality of life can be observed through the familiar vernacular of home (de Veer and Kerkstra, 2001). In many cultures the retirement village is the epitome of this home-like approach. This thesis argues that the lack of integration between this typology and the surrounding neighborhoods both suburban and urban, create social and physical separation between elderly and their communities.
This research explores how architecture can deliver aged care services to make ageing at home in an urban environment more accessible within the context of a central Tokyo intersection. Using the underlying weaknesses of current systems of care delivery identified through the literature review this research begins the conversation on how architecture can frame the facilitation of care and the possibilities for future design responses. Through the design process, combating segregation of elderly individuals while balancing their privacy needs and independence has determined the ideas behind design experimentation and creation.
The outcome of this research is an understanding of architectures role within aged care. The support from the environment is not only vital physically but can significantly contribute to wellness. As well as this the research reinforces the scope of alternative solutions possible when working with an established rich urban environment inherently more focused on connection. A significant move into an urban space will result in a care environment that is connected with its surroundings instead of designed in isolation. Application of this research to current aged care facility environments could create a first step of developing greater scope of connection between a facility space and a community model of care.