What happens when 40 healthcare and design professionals mostly over the age of 50 get together to talk about designing for Baby Boomers? You have a lively discussion about Boomers from Boomers themselves.
“Are You Ready for Boomer Nation?” Gary Vance and I asked in the title of our roundtable discussion at the Healthcare Design conference last November. Judging by the conversation we had, I think many are giving it serious thought.
When asked what characteristics of the Boomer Generation affect how they interact and experience the physical environment, participants responded that Boomers have always questioned the norm and feel empowered to do so. They don’t want to retire and fear losing their mobility.
We also asked what design improvements or features they would suggest for any building type so it is more responsive to the Boomer Generation. Designing for choice, with spaces for personal contact and sharing were two main elements. Universal design was also mentioned, along with flexible home and school environments.
Access to care, in regards to location, transportation, and technology are what participants thought would make healthcare facilities more responsive to the Boomer Generation. Many felt that the trend of Boomers moving back to cities will have significant impact on the types of facilities that will be built — with the focus on multi-use “destination” buildings.
For a more detailed summary of the discussion, a few facts, and some suggested reading, download this PDF.
Gary and I hope to continue this discussion in our respective blogs and expand upon it at the 2015 Healthcare Design conference in Washington, D.C.
What do you think healthcare needs to do to get ready for Boomer Nation?
P.S. Please do me a favor — if you liked this post and like this blog, please share it with others by sending them the link and/or post it on your Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, etc. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, so you’ll get emails when new content is posted. Thanks!