As the years roll by we seldom think of the elephant in the room until it’s too late – what will you do when the hip or knee pain defeats your efforts of rising up and down the stairs of your home? How can we continue living in the family home that we have no inclination to leave?

Archicentre Australia says homeowners should act to make their homes more approachable for advancing years before it is too late.

If this is done there is every chance that the extremely difficult, costly and traumatic decision to move to less desirable alternatives will not have to be made and the family memories will not need to be left behind.
Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev says our population is becoming one in need of ‘elder consideration’.
“Each year we are told that Australians are getting older. All the issues that come with age are being reported … and the older we get the more they come upon us – reduced breath, failing eyesight or hearing, mobility, tiredness, forgetfulness, simpler routines and set patterns.”

As community-based architects, Archicentre Australia is being asked more often to provide advice – simple and dispassionate – about what homeowners can do to make their homes, existing or new, more approachable for advancing years.

This is particularly important considering Australia’s senior population on track to grow by five million within 40 years, putting traditional retirement residential options under severe strain.

“It can start when a young or middle aged family considers renovation or redevelopment. At these critical times of design consideration, it’s not silly to ask your architect to add design features that are embedded in the planning,” Peter Georgiev says.

“For little or no additional cost these features provide amenity that allows the building to endure into generational use.”

Simple design features can include an external ramp in lieu of two or three steps between the front and rear of a yard, or easy access from a carport to a front or rear entrance.

Space can be allocated for a passenger lift that could connect two or three levels in a future iteration, say for an inner city multi-storey terrace or apartment.

“These are by and large technical planning matters that can be cleverly woven into the overall fabric of a dwelling yet are often ignored,” Peter Georgiev says, “particularly in this current epoch where there is no client, only a developer-driven enthusiasm to produce gadget-driven accommodation.

“Long-term efficiency is the aim of an architectural approach tailored to site, aspect and client need – remember the word ‘need’ rather than ‘greed’.

“Practical client briefing of an architect is equally as important as seeking image making. There is always a place for ‘starcitecture’ but always within a framework of cogent functional planning that responds to time-honoured principles of thermal performance and knowing what the sun does across the seasons,” he adds.

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This media release has been written and distributed by:
Archicentre Australia
Peter Georgiev, Director
Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,
Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102
Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950