If you are looking for inspiring initiatives that respond to the needs of our aging demographic, there is no better region to explore than East Asia. With 36% percent of the world’s population over 65 years old, and cultures which put great importance on respecting elders, the need to find well thought out care solutions is an important preoccupation.
Forward Thinking Seniors Communities
Back in 2015 at the World Architecture Festival, the issue of health and housing for older people was explored by Spark Architects, who proposed a project called Home Farm for Shanghai. This holistic and multigenerational retirement home was designed to promote the overall well being for its elderly citizens.
The project included small units for seniors living alone or in a couple, as well as larger apartments for families caring for their elderly members at home. Healthcare facilities were also available onsite, and most remarkable of all, a vertical urban farm, integrated into the building design, would be maintained in part by seniors themselves.
Seniors as Contributing Members of their Community
This farm and residential concept promotes excellent nutrition and physical activity for the whole community, and provides residents with the opportunity to supplement their income by working on the farm. By considering the integration of health, family, and activity, the Home Farm concept puts the physical and psychological well being of the elderly in the forefront. This is what we want for the quality of life of all older seniors, regardless of where we live in the world.
An adapted version of the project is being designed in Kuala Lumpur and is set to open in 2018.
Multigenerational Housing for Every City
Here in Montreal where Tonomy Shop is based, our well loved 1976 Olympic Stadium has been without a proper tenant since our baseball team, the Montreal Expos, was sold in 2004. To transform it into a Home Farm would make a fabulous second life for the stadium, which, with a retractable glass roof, could be converted into a year round greenhouse for a city in which the winter can be particularly isolating for the elderly.
Maybe one day, Tonomy Shop products will include garden tools that could be used in our own future seniors’ Home Farm.