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Blueprints for Senior Living

March 2015 Issue

Letter from the Chairs

Spring Greetings Everyone!

Here is the first official 2015 edition of Blueprints for Senior Living!  This issue’s theme is “Intergenerational Solutions” and we are really excited and appreciative of the member content that was submitted.  Let us know what you think.  For the second quarter, we are looking for articles about “resiliency." Both buildings and people need to be resilient in the face of challenges - be it the aging process or climate change. How can architecture address the changing needs older adults have as they age in place? How can architecture plan for a changing climate? Are these things related or do they conflict? The due date for second quarter content is June 4, 2015. 

Please send the title of your proposed article and a short paragraph describing its contents to We prefer original submissions and request that you not submit a previously published work. Articles should be 200-800 words in length and are subject to the editor’s approval. Illustrations such as photographs, sketches, and design drawings, are highly encouraged!

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In this issue

DFAR12 Book Now on Sale for $45

DFAR12 Book Cover    

This compilation of more than 30 outstanding projects in the areas of assisted living, continuing care retirement communities, and nursing homes represents the best current work designed by architects for the ever-increasing aging population.

Each project is presented with photographs, detailed plans, and statistics, illuminating the high level of research, planning and community involvement that goes into these advancements in living environments for seniors.

Order Now


Friends of All Ages: Life in Multigenerational Communities

By Eli Spevak - Seniors who relish the calm of the empty nest have plenty of age-restricted housing options available. Yet many baby boomers are exploring alternative housing types where they can live in community with young families. New parents (whose own families may live out of state) often welcome the support, wisdom and relative calm that comes from having elders living nearby.

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Eli Spevak

Intergenerational Living...An Option to Consider

Glen Tipton, FAIA

By Glen Tipton, FAIA - “Why do you Americans insist on putting your seniors in ghettos?” That provocative question was the first posed to me by a member of an all-European after my 1994 presentation on U.S. trends in senior living design. I was a featured speaker at a symposium sponsored by the Royal Surgical Aid Society in London at the invitation of British architect, Martin Valins, who long since has been a practicing architect in the US, specializing in senior living design.

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You Take Care of Mom, but Who Will Take Care of You?

By Grace Kim - Family caregivers provide the majority of long-term services and supports. However, the supply of family caregivers is not likely to keep the pace with the future demand. Why is this relevant? According to a study by AARP, in 2010 the caregiver support ratio was more than seven possible caregivers for every person over the age of 80, when the risk of injury or need for additional support is greatest.

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Grace Kim

Roseland Senior Campus: Neighborhood Opportunities for Aging in Place

Jack Schroeder, AIA, LEED AP

By Jack Schroeder, AIA, LEED AP - Standing in front of a vacant, trash-strewn site in the Roseland neighborhood on the far Southside of Chicago, one of our best and most inspiring clients came to us with a wildly ambitious idea. We had been working in Roseland for years in this economically depressed and increasingly violent area to create safe and affordable housing for families, but her new focus was on the senior population of Roseland.

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A New Avenue for Housing: Accessory Dwellings

By Kevin Casey - Aging in place, caregivers, working from home, boomerang millennials… With all these trends coinciding at once we are rapidly approaching a new era in suburban living. Our mission at New Avenue is to make great design attainable to everyone. We are making it easier for architects, homeowners and contractors to collaborate in one online place.   

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Kevin Casey

Family Compounds: Bringing Families Together

Mike Kephart

By Mike Kephart- Much to our surprise in 2009, as Judy Schriener and I were wrapping up our book, Building for Boomers, we found that emerging ideas in housing were only partially fueled by the aging of the baby boomers. Family finances may have had as much influence as aging, particularly when the family is still supporting college students at the same time as their older members begin to need care.

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In the News

Welcome to the New DFA Advisory Group Members

David Banta, AIA, joined WDG Architecture in 2008, bringing with him more than 30 years of experience. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1984, and now serves as Director of Senior Living at the longest standing firm in Washington, DC. David has spent more than 15 years managing the planning and design of all types of residential and senior living communities, including independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care facilities.

David Banta, AIA

Quinn deMenna, AIA

Quinn deMenna, AIA, a principal in the architectural firm of Alberto & Associates, has a true passion for improving the lives of elders and creating truly livable and supportive residential settings. Mr. deMenna has 27 years of experience in the design of award-winning seniors’ housing and long-term care environments. He has gained recognition as an industry leader through; presentations at regional and national conferences, participation in efforts such as the AIA Design For Aging ADA Task Force, and has authored numerous articles and publications focusing on design solutions for senior populations.

Multigenerational Living Trend Continues

By Nancy LaFever | Seniors for Living

Several of my friends are living in multigenerational households. Some of their arrangements are by design and others a result of unplanned life events. Whether it’s a college-aged child moving home to save money while job-hunting, a senior choosing to live with an adult child, or a daughter bringing a new baby to live with her grandparents, this communal living has primarily been driven by recent economic uncertainties.

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Upcoming Events

Save the Date: Design for Aging Awards Opening Soon

Awards to Open the Week of March 30, 2015

As part of its Quality First Initiative, the AIA Design for Aging Knowledge Community and LeadingAge invite architects, designers and providers to submit projects for consideration in the Design for Aging Review, 13th Edition.

The Design for Aging Review includes a juried exhibition, a book, and educational programs that showcase facilities representing conscientious surroundings that advance environments for senior living. A jury of architects and care providers for the aging will select the projects to be published and exhibited.

Environments for Aging Conference

April 18 - 21, 2015 | Baltimore Marriott Waterfront | Baltimore, MD

The Environments for Aging Conference offers the latest strategies and ideas for creating functional and attractive living environments that meet the needs of our aging population. During this comprehensive three-day learning experience, attendees will network with peers while learning the latest innovations and best practices in the design of long-term and residential care settings.

Attendees will share common goals and innovations as well as building, architecture, and design best practices. Don't miss this opportunity to gain inspiration through a gathering of like-minded, forward-thinking individuals instrumental in the creation of future living environments for the aging. 

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DFA Breakfast Featured at Environments for Aging

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 | 7:00 - 8:15 am | Harbor Ballroom on the Fourth Floor

This year’s Design for Aging Knowledge Community Breakfast will include featured guests, Rob Mayer and Maggie Caulkins, sharing the latest research and advocacy initiatives related to the impacts of lighting and acoustics on senior environments. Many of you have also been involved in Rothschild sponsored task forces – looking forward to having you all join in this discussion, as well as share who we are as a knowledge community, encourage new members, and welcome current members.

About the Speakers:

Margaret P. Calkins, Ph.D.
Dr. Calkins is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of environments for elderly, especially those with Alzheimer's and other dementias. After completing an A.B. in psychology at Kenyon College, she received her Masters and Ph.D. of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Calkins has spent many years exploring the therapeutic potential of the environment--social and organizational as well as physical--particularly as it relates to frail and impaired older adults.

Robert N. Mayer, PhD
Dr. Mayer is President of the Hulda B. & Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation. For over two decades the Foundation has supported the work of many national organizations, in an effort to strengthen and broaden the person-centered care movement. Through a wide range of initiatives, including eight national regulatory task forces, the Foundation has sought to improve the quality of life and to enhance the experience of residents, patients and families alike in long term care communities.

View the full conference agenda >

Join Your Peers at the 2015 AIA National Convention

2015 AIA National Convention

Advance registration rates end April 15, 2015

AIA Convention 2015 is one of the largest and most exciting annual gatherings of architects and design professionals in the U.S. The people, the ideas, the environment, the setting - it all comes together for an experience that will supercharge your year.

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AIAU Courses for DFA Members

AIAU logo

Check out the latest courses on designing for lifelong livability, available on AIAU. New courses include a selection from Architecture for Humanity’s Design Like you Give Damn: Live! at Dwell on Design NY and a detailed course on the value and process behind Health Impact Assessments.

You’ll learn from top instructors on your schedule, from anywhere in the world. Once you complete a course, we’ll automatically update your AIA transcript with your continuing education credits.

Check out these great courses:

Design Open Mic: Disaster Recovery and Learning Lessons: Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief│Earn 1 LU / HSW / RIBA

Health Impact Assessment: A Tool for Considering and Improving Health during Building and Neighborhood Design | Earn 3.75 LUs / HSW / GBCI / RIBA

Individual courses are $25 for AIA members and $40 for non-members.  Buy four or more courses and save 15%, no promo code needed.

Check out more great courses on AIAU >

Did you know anyone can join AIA Design for Aging Knowledge Community for FREE? Sign-up on AIA KnowledgeNet and start a discussion in the Design for Aging Discussion Forum.

AIA/DFA Advisory Group Members: Vicki Nelson, AIA, ACHA & Dennis Cope, AIA (2015 Co-Chairs); Dodd Kattman, AIA; Betsie Sassen, RN; Alexis Denton, AIA; Tim Mueller, AIA; Martin Siefering, AIA & Quinn deMenna, AIA

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