Universal Design Solutions for Storage and Organization
Bring universal design into North American Homes with our Storage and Organization Solutions
Within the next ten years, seniors are expected to exceed 20% of the population in the U.S. and Canada, a major demographic shift that will have far-reaching consequences for both countries. The changing needs of our aging population will require us to rethink accessibility, ergonomics and inclusivity in the housing industry. By applying a universal design philosophy to our living spaces, we can make homes more accessible and easier to use for everyone, regardless of age, size or ability.
Universal design can help seniors
Throughout North America, there is a general lack of adequate housing for people of all ages with disabilities. When you consider that 15% of U.S. households have someone with a disability but only 6% of homes qualify as accessible, you can appreciate how universal design could be used to improve quality of life for millions of people, seniors included.
More than 90% of seniors live in private dwellings, raising the question of how exactly to serve them in the housing market going forward. Aging in place is very important to seniors, with 86% of urban baby boomers in Canada expressing the desire to live in their home as long as possible. To give them the independence and dignity that they deserve, we need to design living spaces in a way that will help seniors meet their lifestyle goals and stay in their homes as long as they want.
Fall prevention designed into every room
Applying universal design principles, we can create safe, ergonomic living spaces that reduce the risk of falling for seniors with mobility issues. Sadly, one in three seniors will fall this year. Many of these falls will occur at home. When seniors are not injured by a fall, the fear of a repeat occurrence may cause them to become less active, leading to a decline in physical fitness that increases their risk of falling again. After being hospitalized for a fall, one-third of seniors are admitted to long-term care. To minimize fall risk, we must ensure that rooms are free of clutter, with all tripping hazards removed. Setting up accessible storage areas for regularly used items eliminates the need for seniors to climb step stools or perform other risky movements. Thoughtful interior design can prevent falls in the home and help seniors live in place longer.
Panasonic has universal design solutions
For insight on how to facilitate living in place, we should look to Japan, where seniors already constitute 29% of the population. Panasonic has spent years developing a slate of innovative, award-winning housing solutions for Japanese seniors, positioning the company as a global leader in universal design. Our founder’s belief that homes are the foundation of people’s lives has, in fact, motivated Panasonic to pursue its “Better Life, Better World” philosophy since 1958. Backed by hard-won experience in the competitive Japanese market, and focused on improving mobility and health for everyone, Panasonic is now able to support North American seniors with a range of inclusive storage and organization solutions for living well in place.