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Design Information for the Future of Care

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Lori Pinkerton-Rolet PPBIID, Reg. ID, IIDA

Director-Park Grove Design Ltd.

Host-ThirdAge.Design Podcast

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The Japanese offer high levels of care with a ratio of support staff to residents which are half that of other countries.  Covid-19 rates were lower than expected in retirement communities in the UK when compared to people of similar ages living in the community. Design interventions are critically involved in both success stories.  All over the world, extensive research is taking place into the effect of interior environments in care, retirement living and for people living with dementia.  Operators, developers, architects, and designers hold a multitude of responsibilities, leaving little or no time to delve into academic portals to discover the latest findings, or to gather and transcribe literature from other countries to learn from the experience of others.  In January 2021 a response was launched in the form of a website and free half-hour monthly podcast through www.thirdage.design; the first international hub for sharing essential information to improve senior environments.

Within it’s first year TAD, (ThirdAge.Design’s acronym), has built a community of listeners and contributors in 15 countries on 4 continents: The United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, The Netherlands, Israel, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Romania, and India.

The March ‘22 podcast finds Dr. Anne Fleming discussing her Doctoral research into what makes care residents truly feel ‘at home.’  She believes residents should have the opportunity to participate in dressing front of house areas, and that key to the success of feeling at home was the relationship between the facility itself and the wider community at large.  By accessing information not in general circulation, owners and operators can make informed interior updates which are both cost-effective and meaningful to their residents. The way in which facilities are used, additional revenue streams, and the opportunity to differentiate from competitors are the biproducts of such information.

Architects and designers will find the February ’22 podcast of interest as

Dr. David Sheard, originator of the phrase ‘person-centred care’, shares his new theories on ‘emotional intelligence’ and how it’s essential to environmental success that this concept be explored throughout the design development of care, dementia, and retirement facilities.

While ThirdAge.Design’s links to academics may be obvious, students are also brought into the conversation with an inaugural ‘TAD Student Challenge’ launched with a £3500 cash prize available to final year degree course students across the United Kingdom.  Students can be inspired by future of care design through podcasts sharing unique initiatives such as TAD’s on-site recording from the Brevard Alzheimer’s Foundation in Florida, USA in January ‘22.

This international hub shares essential information to improve senior environments in a brief, easy to access format designed for busy professionals.  The free podcasts are available through Spotify, Google Podcasts, or through the website at:  www.thirdage.design, where you’ll also find blogs, and research links to all of the topics discussed.  Click ‘join us’ and you’ll automatically receive ‘A TAD Extra’, this quarter, a unique ‘Home Safety Checklist for the Third Age.’

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