As the senior population swells over the next 30 years, finding affordable and accessible housing for older adults within the community will continue to pose a challenge. According to the most recent U.S. census, the total number of people over 65 is projected to double by 2050 and seniors are the fastest-growing segment of the population.
Many older adults wish to remain in their own homes, living independently as much as possible but often the family home is not a practical or safe living space for people with mobility challenges. But designers and builders are tackling the growing need for housing that helps seniors thrive while staying connected and supported. Southern Alberta will soon be home to a new prefabrication smart home community, integrated into a small rural town where options for older adults are limited.
According to a recent CTVNews report, FABhomes, the creation of John Brown, Dean of Architecture at the University of Calgary will be coming to the rural town of Bassanto, Alberta. Each prefabricated home will be about the size of a one-bedroom apartment with integrated systems to monitor behavior; if sensors don’t track Mom getting up at her regular time, an alert can be sent to caregivers.
The homes are also built with a floor that can reduce the injury sustained by a fall by up to 70 percent. With a nearby community center, older adults can more easily stay physically and socially engaged. This new approach to housing seniors is hoped to help older adults avoid a premature move into an assisted living facility and improve their quality of life.
The Bassanto pilot project will sit on a half-acre of property in a neighborhood close to underutilized town assets. The FAB Village Square will offer seniors a new housing alternative with a design as well as digital support technology that can be adapted for the changing needs of older adults.