The BUILT module focuses on housing, public spaces, buildings and mobility which are the domains constituting the physical dimension of WHO’s age-friendly environments. Undoubtedly, the built environment largely influences our health and wellbeing and, where it is properly implemented, it can keep us healthy and independent for longer. This is vital in view of the growing numbers of older people across Europe, who are particularly vulnerable to low quality physical environment. The safer, more comfortable, smarter and easier-to-maintain the built environment is, the more people will be able to remain healthy, meaning more savings in social and health care. In this sense apart from focusing on purely physical dimensions, the BUILT module will also pay attention to healthcare, social care and health.
BUILT aims to deliver training packages and hands-on tools to improve the skills of people of all ages, to enable them to choose to create smart healthy age-friendly physical environments in their own homes or neighbourhoods. Other goals are to teach facilitators, counsellors and end users how to remove physical barriers and create comfortable, safe, smart and easy to maintain dwellings as well as public spaces, especially for people who have problems with freely movement or for those who have illnesses such as dementia. The main areas of interests are housing, public spaces, including public buildings, mobility, as well as appropriate design according to healthy issues of older people. Packages include information about universal design, apartment adjustment and retrofitting and development of accessibility as well. Common goal of all modules is to enhance social inclusion.
Module Basics contains fundamental information about the essential needs of people who cannot move freely or have illnesses, such as dementia or Parkinson’s disease in terms of the design of physical environment.
The module provides basic information about the main barriers for such people both in their apartments and in public spaces including public buildings. It also contains underlying rules of design for age-friendly and smart healthy physical environments and common mistakes in the design for the older people.
A significant number of accidents among older people take place at home, where they spend most of their time. Thus, it is vital that housing quality and standards are improved to make them well-aligned to the needs of older residents. It will have a positive impact on their ability to stay healthy and independent longer.
The module focuses on three basic features, which should characterise age-friendly housing: safety, comfort and easy maintenance. For each of the features, recommendations are to be developed. The aim of the module is to produce a training package comprising all of these recommendations.
Public spaces and buildings
Growing ghettoization and ageism can pose a threat for the local community. In order to counteract these negative processes, public spaces should encourage all users to interact and stay outside their homes. Intergenerational integration is of major importance as it fosters local community building and helps in creating neighbourhood support. The indoor spaces are also of vital importance as they enable meetings independently from weather conditions.
The aim of the module is to produce a training package for the users of all ages on how to develop inclusive public spaces and buildings.
Isolation and loneliness are known to be the biggest challenges, which are being faced by the ageing societies. Enabling older adults to move freely when and where they want is important, as this can help them to keep social ties and not to become isolated.
The goal of this module is to show facilitators, counsellors and older adults what barriers in mobility are found at various scales: housing, building and public space and to teach them solutions, which would help in reducing these barriers.
BUILT for HEALTHY
The built environment can be particularly hostile for those with physical or mental impairments. Therefore, it is important to search for solutions, which could help people with for example. dementia to be active as long as possible.
The module focuses on finding recommendations for proper design and the use of assistive technologies in housing, building and public spaces. They will be transferred into training packages for all those involved in creating, managing or occupying these spaces.