Long live the elderly

extending independent living by design

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The Dutch population is aging and therefore the Netherlands requires more capacity in care since this is currently not enough. Living independently as long as possible is a solutionand this solution corresponds to the wishes of elderly. Therefore the purpose of this research is to answer the following question: ‘How can architecture extend independent living while supporting elderly (65+) in their feeling of independence in daily life?’ Three types of independence are identified and discussed: the physical, the mental and the emotional independence and these are placed next to the different types of elderly. Because of the importance of feelings in relation to tangible requirements, anthropology and epistemology are the most used methodologies in this research. A difference has been made between environments that stimulate/heal and between environments that help/deals with your abilities. Nature has a big impact on the physical and mental independence, while people also like to show their identity as well as having their own place, which allows them to create a home feeling. Since every person is different, the environment should be diverse so this place can be inclusive. A neighborhood should stand on its own in order to let the people live independently for as long as possible. When growing old your health will deteriorate, this is confronting. Architecture is changeable, life is not. With the identified design options from this research, a built environment can be created that stimulate each person to be independent, physically, mentally and emotionally.