News & Events
October 30, 2014
Aging at home: European Innovations in Housing

In Europe, communities are looking at housing solutions which safeguard the needs of older adults and also provide housing and services in a new way

Within the European Innovation Partnership on Active & Healthy Ageing, partners across Europe are sharing the outcomes of their housing pilots and projects, disseminating best practices, and scaling up international collaboration in the field.

In Dresden, Germany a project with housing cooperatives, research institutes, and companies has adapted housing units to the changing needs of their aging residents. The project focuses on technical support systems which compensate for cognitive impairment, hearing and sight limitations, and physical limitations due to chronic diseases, diabetes, and stroke, all while ensuring the interoperability of those technical systems. Training courses have been provided on the use of the services and tenants were involved in both the design and implementation of the project.

In the region of Aquitaine, France, a local initiative has created a fund to help finance home modifications for older people on lower incomes. In partnership with a housing organization, pension funds, and insurance companies, the initiative renovates existing housing to the meet the needs of older residents, at an average cost of 7,000 euros (9,100 dollars). Modifications may include a suspended sink, replacing a bath with a retractable shower seat, and grab bars. In addition, in the city of Boé in that region, they are adapting residential parks for ease of mobility and access to urban transport systems.