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Senior friendly environments should be focus for all businesses and public places


A recent article by Julie Weed of Nw York Times New Service highlighted what airports are doing to create senior-friendly services for older travelers. It showed the director for experiential design for architecture firm Corgan wearing a suit that simulated the challenges facing seniors as they navigate an airport facility.

Given the huge numbers of people entering the 60-plus demographic, I was pleased to see the focus on this issue.  The World Health Organization estimates this age group to double by 2050. In the US, the Census Bureau projects that by 2035 those who have reached the milestone of 65 years will outnumber children for the first time.  

           

The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is also turning its resources to the issue of senior-friendly environments. I recently met with experts from their organization who explained their efforts to teach businesses and organizations, such as churches, how to maintain a facility that is easy for people with dementia to navigate. They shared the following suggestions:

Quiet Areas

Signage

Lighting

Walkways/Flooring

Restrooms

If you spend time in a business office, retail establishment, or religious organization, look around and see if these guidelines are being utilized.  Even the smallest improvements can dramatically improve the comfort of those who frequent your facility.

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