At the last SPIDER partners meeting in Brussels in October 2013 Belinda Colombo from Maaslands Huis explained that the new inclusive care-living area development with 60 adapted houses for the elderly in Maasmechelen is in a recreation area full of green spaces and nature, making it a really nice place for these new homes and their future residents. The project area is also located near Fabiola, a care institute for young people, so they are thinking about doing something with the two (SPIDER) projects and engaging the local young people with the work to extend independent living for elderly people.
As Belinda explains, the project is a new care living area, with a new nursing home with 150 beds, as well as 60 service flats for people with a low income, and 60 adapted elderly houses. The onsite nursing home and care services will address the usual areas of family and household care, hygiene and nursing care, psychosocial and fitness support and social networking. The main goal of this project is to help elderly and disabled people to continue living independently in a place where they feel comfortable and with the necessary facilities nearby. The aim is to create an inclusive care-living area and to integrate living and care within a sustainable environment and society. The care living area should form a balance between what people can do for people and what new technologies can do for this target group.
“This project gives us the opportunity for this certain design methodology and process to outline the future needs of the target group, develop a spatial vision for this area, integrate the care living area with the surrounding residential areas, look at transport possibilities and introduce new technologies to the new living spaces.”
Studio Dott. – An update from the service design team
Studio Dott. gave an extremely detailed and thorough walkthrough of their project activities so far; their research and findings and their early stage ideation, concepts and co-creation workshops with stakeholders. For anybody (not least the SPIDER partners) looking to design and redesign services for elderly people that will allow them to live as they want to for longer this transcript of Studio Dott’s talk (and presentation) is certainly worth a read. It shows a design agency approaching the initial research required at the fuzzy front-end of a design project in meticulous detail. This attention to detail makes for a very rich image being built up of the people they are designing for. We are looking forward to seeing the outcome of their design project.