Universal Design, Health and Ageing: A checklist

Four older men wearing hats sit at a square table in the park.The most well-known guide for ageing populations is the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Cities and Communities. This, and similar guides, focus on “active ageing” or “positive ageing”. They aim to counter the “burden” view of older people which tends to focus on ill-health. But good health and design are closely linked. The Center for Health Design has joined the dots on universal design, health and ageing and created a checklist.  

The Center for Health Design‘s checklist focuses on design features specific to older people. This checklist differs from others as it includes the health care aspect and takes a universal design approach. The checklist is not a list of comprehensive specifications, but a “thought starter”. It is best used to guide the discussion of design teams at the outset of a project. The checklist covers Home and Community including residential, Healthcare and design of clinics and emergency rooms, and Workplace designs and strategies.

The checklist matrix lists the strategy or goal, design considerations for the built environment, and the universal implications. It includes ageing in place, active living, hospital at home, hospital design, and promoting healthy lifestyles. 

The checklist has a comprehensive reference list to support the content. An extract from the checklist is below. 

The header of the checklist matrix showing the Strategy, Design element and universal implications.



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