Julius Blum GmbH, Beschlaegefabrik

6 6 Blum Inspirations Having several generations under one roof used to be quite common, but ex tended family living is in decline today. This is prompting people to think about where they would like to live in old age. Most people are keen to stay in their homes as long as possible. Oppor tunit ies and challenges Having roots is impor tant for body and soul. Aging at home means staying in a familiar environment and continuing to belong to the communit y and social net work. Ideally, there will be strong relationships with the family – this will give adult children the assurance that their parents are well. Depending on physical fitness, it might be necessar y to do some remodelling to make ever yday life easier – for example, in the k itchen or bathroom. However, with a bit of understanding, acceptance and advance planning, the transition will be easy. Adaptable homes When you’re young it ’s dif ficult to imagine the challenges that come with old age. Age can, for example, af fect your sense of touch. Movements that used to be easy become hard. Homes and furnishings have to be adapted to these age-related changes. ‘Most people don’t realise that their current homes don’t meet the requirements of independent living in old age until it ’s too late,’ says Lothar Mar x, architect of housing and social real estate. ‘The thing is that you should really consider accessibilit y r ight from the star t of the construction process.’ Lothar Mar x’s specialist field is accessibilit y in building construction for the disabled and elder ly. He is an Honorar y Professor at the Technical Universit y of Munich. Design for all The design for all concept (universal design) is gaining traction. The idea is to create accessible layouts and inter iors that are appealing and accommodating for ever yone. Af ter all, ease of use and convenience are benefits for ever yone. The trend is also having a positive impact on residential construction but there are some limitations. ‘It ’s presumptuous to think that we can build a home that fits ever yone. We’re all individuals. What ’s ‘Functionality is top priority when you build and furnish an apartment or a house. You can change the design if required. But it’s difficult to replace missing functionality later on.’ Lothar Mar x, Architect and Honorar y Professor at the Technical Universit y of Munich