Perspectives of Users and Experts on Designs for Converting Existing New Zealand Houses to Make Them Suitable for Ageing in Place

The limited available choices for older people as well as personal factors have led to a demand for ageing in place. Given the slow rate of adding new houses to the existing stock in New Zealand (Statistics New Zealand, 2013), it is essential to find effective design solutions for redeveloping the latter to achieve a better quality of life, wellbeing and independence for the elderly. This paper reports on the preferences of older New Zealanders for a number of such designs as well as comments from experts in the field. Two New Zealand housing types were investigated (early 20th century villas with a central corridor and 1930-50s single storey state houses). Selected examples of each were redesigned, the possible options ranging from subdivision (conversion to two smaller units) to varying degrees of shared living (shared spaces such as a guest bedroom) to only having private bedsits and all living spaces shared. These designs were presented to a group of design professional and researchers into ageing for comments on their suitability. The same floor plans were examined by people aged 65+ through an online questionnaire survey. This paper reports on the results of these investigations. The various design-related characteristics identified through analysing the comments could assist designers in making informed decisions when altering existing houses to make them more suitable for ageing in place. The outcomes of this study could also assist the authorities involved with housing provision for the ageing.



Author Information
Fatemeh Yavari, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Brenda Vale, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Paper Information Conference: AGEN2017
Stream: Aging and Gerontology

Added on Friday, June 2nd, 2017

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