Ageing In Place
Recently Marjorie and Karen Ognibene from Ko&Co spoke at the Qld State Library about the increasing need to create homes that can adapt to all life stages and the simple things families can do to their living spaces to be child friendly or accommodate the elderly.
With a new ageing population of “young-old” people who are fit and healthy with less need for specialised aged care housing, alongside the high costs associated with downsizing means we need to provide more agile designs that can adapt to suit changing needs. Homes that are being built or renovated for young families may evolve to accommodate empty nesters, couples or singles. This should mean designing for evolution, having areas pre zoned to become future granny flats, or homes that can easily be retrofitted or subdivided and create two dwellings that could benefit older people by providing a secondary income stream or a space for a carer.
By following the Liveable Housing Guidelines for any renovation or new build you will be well placed to affordably and beautifully add ‘assisted living’ elements to your home when required. Marjorie spoke about how the ideas in these guidelines were used for the renovation at her parent’s house. All the bathroom walls were reinforced to accommodate future grabrails, steps/transitions were designed to use a Raven threshold in the future if there are mobility issues. Doorway sizes enhanced to allow easy access for walkers/wheelchair. The house was designed to enable a secure the middle level accessible from the street with it’s own kitchenette to allow for a future carer or a rentable space for additional income.
Karen explained the Liveable Housing Guidelines in more detail and examined through case study the following key features of the report:
-Dwelling entrance/access - step free, wide door, roof over
-Internal doors and corridor widths – minimum 1000mm (silver) to 1200mm (platinum)
-Toilet – adequate clearances forward of pan, provision for future installation of grab rails
-Shower – size, flush entry, provision for grab rails
-Reinforcement of bathroom walls – for grab rails
-Stairs – straight run, handrails one or both sides
-Kitchen - circulation, slip resistant and continuous flooring, task lighting
-Laundry - circulation, slip resistant and continuous flooring
-Bedroom on ground level - size
-Switches and power point types and location
-Door handles and tapware types
-Living room size
-Window sill heights
-Flooring selection – slip resistant, flush