Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.Arch.

Degree Granting Department

Architecture

Major Professor

Vikas Mehta, Ph.D.

Keywords

Nursing home, Elderly care, Dependent living, Housing, Tampa

Abstract

As the son of parents of the "baby boomer" generation I foresee the immanent increased demand for assisted living for the elderly. By 2030 an estimated 20 percent - one in five Americans - will be 65 or older. Unless attention is paid now to advancing the designs and opportunities for assisted-living, there will either be a distinct lack of available options, or worse, the continuation of out-dated designs that simply will not be a marketable. Contemporary thinking with regard to the design of places of residence for the elderly has changed dramatically from the days of outdated structures and philosophies. In my research, I have seen a shift toward the concept of community rather than institution. Owing to cultural change that will surely be the future of assisted living design strategy. Yet, the shift is still in the rut of scaling designs to accommodate up to only a few dozen individuals.

While I understand the rationale of such designs, I foresee a shortcoming to that approach. If the design idea is the drive toward the feeling of "home" then I feel it to be conceivable for an expansion of the current model to include multiple neighborhoods of residences, subsidiary structures, and more connection to a feeling of neighborhood and social interaction; the attributes of a true "community." What are missing are the environments that appeal to younger citizens. Baby boomers, easily described as much more educated, well-informed, well traveled, financially successful and much more discerning will not find the traditional options appealing or acceptable. My primary method of research for such an endeavor falls under the classification of Qualitative Research; the category that focuses on personal and informal social science. My design intention is not to separate and isolate the population of those seeking assisted living. Instead, offer more than just a place to live.

I intend to discover validity for the concept of a larger networked residential community with more opportunity for social interaction and active lifestyle extending beyond what currently exists.

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