Tuesday, May 21, 2024

COVID-19 Creates A Renewed Focus On Living Environments, Especially For An Aging Demographic

The new aging consumers are living longer and healthier lives than those in previous generations. As influential consumers, they want well-designed products that empower them to live in style and to support their health and well-being – regardless of their age. Their living environment is a statement of who they are and 90 per cent of people age 55 and over report that they want to live in their homes for their lifetimes.   

Design is at the heart of a healthy home or office, school, store, community and more.  And thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the future is clear: Health and wellness must come first in every aspect of the structures and communities we design and build. 

In collaboration with our colleagues from Mykigai, Your Longevity Concierge, and design expert Linda Kafta from Livable Environments, YouAreUNLTD recently moderated a roundtable webinar entitled, 10 Design Trends in Wellness and Ageless Living. Kafka is an advocate of ageless living and a movement called Living in Place. This is not about your grandmother and grab bars for her bathtub, she says. Instead, it is a more holistic approach “to support everyone, regardless of age, ability or size.” Kafka asks, “Can residential environments adapt to us as our needs change over an entire lifespan?” To learn the answers to this question, view the full webinar above or on our YouTube channel.


For Kafka, the mission is simple: “I firmly believe that the homes we live in have an impact on our physical and mental health. When designed properly, our spaces will adapt to us over a lifespan and support our families. It is essential that we start designing our spaces from a functional perspective and not merely from an aesthetic one. That way we can truly live well and in place for a lifetime.”

The improvements in residential building practices is a timely topic as well as a crucial one for the trades to embrace for the future health of their business. According to the International WELL Building Institute, wellness in design real estate is already a $134-billion industry globally, and one of the fastest growing. This statistic reveals pre-pandemic numbers. With more time being spent in our homes in 2020, the trend is gaining even more traction. A look at accessibility and living in place design practices reveals home modifications for aging is a $77-billion industry in Canada alone. 

And according to the National Association of Home Builders, by 2035, the number of U.S. households with a person living with a disability will reach more than 31 million – an increase of 76 per cent over present numbers. The exponential growth in these areas makes it imperative for the industry to become well-versed in the latest design practices and products that will define the decade. 


The roundtable webinar precedes a large, virtual trade event that Kafta and her team are running from October 28 to 30, 2020. YouAreUNLTD is the media sponsor of this event and will be speaking on the topic of “Aging is a Powerful Market Driver.” Our goal is to educate and engage an aging population on how key stakeholders are changing the way homes and communities are designed and constructed with wellness and healthy aging in mind. The focus will be on driving awareness of the many products, services, and solutions in the marketplace today and into the future including the importance of technology and a comprehensive “smart home” approach. 

More than 30 thought leaders will be presenting on the future of Ageless Living. For more information on the LivABLE Environment Conference, go to livablecanada.com

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YouAreUNLTD is a purpose driven brand, disrupting and redefining what it means to get older. We are a fresh voice to provide people with the inspiration and resources to help them age powerfully.