We can talk about senior living design all we want, but even the most thoughtfully designed senior living communities aren’t addressing one of the most important facts: Americans are deporting their senior populations into generationally-homogenous communities that deprive all of us the benefits of multi-generational living. Our communities would be stronger and happier if we looked at architectural design more holistically, designing more integrated communities.
Consider this unique mixed-use project recently completed in Windsor, California. Designed by Baby Boomer Orrin Thiessen, the project consists of commercial and residential buildings, all oriented around a town plaza, adjacent to the town’s library, civic center and a commuter rail system that will connect this wine country location to the greater Bay Area.
Some of the buildings have elevator access to single-story accessible condos, which means seniors enjoy accessible living options within a vibrant community of singletons, young families and retirees. Communities like these make it possible for seniors to be embraced and supported by their “local family” even if their biological families live in other parts of the country. And, let’s face it, seniors aren’t the only ones suffering from their societal separation.
Children miss out on the opportunity to hear stories about the past or to enjoy the undivided attention of an elder who isn’t running around checking off items on a “to-do” list. Parents have a supportive ear and a helping hand if the senior is able. Multi-generational living benefits everyone, with care-giving being an integral part of the design.
Contact LS&A Architecture and Interiors so we can transform our community paradigm.