Designing spaces for aging eyes
If the least conservative estimates are used, by the year 2040 the average life expectancy of older people could increase by 20 years. Some projections are that by the middle of the 21st century, there will be 16 million Americans over 85 years of age. The sensory, cognitive and motor abilities decline as we age. With a rapidly aging population, design for the elderly is going to have to be given greater consideration than it has in the past. Often times it is the architects that design the interior spaces of the assisted living environments, and quite often these four key legibility variables have not been factored in to the design. The purpose of this research is to produce some preliminary guidelines for the wayfinding, organization, and experience design of assisted living environments. The study will establish critical legibility factors related to aging vision and designing supportive environments that enhance comfort, safety and independent functioning. This study involves an in-depth look at an assisted living facility in Ames, Iowa. The methodologies will consist of overall observation and one-on-one interviews with the staff. The case study will reveal how the overall experience in assisted living environments can be improved.