APPLICATION OF UNIVERSAL DESIGN IN HOME FOR THE AGED

ABSTRACT
This research investigates on interior design for the aged in Nairobi, Kenya. It‘s well-known that the ageing process brings into play many factors that can potentially restrict one‘s life (the ageing) and lifestyle. As a result of the diverse needs of the aged, the environment they live in must be well suited to support them in their daily lives. Universal design can be used to change these environments and make them habitable for the aged. Universal Design is recommended for creating these assisted living environments because it is an approach to the design of all products and environments to be used by everyone regardless of age, ability, situation or experience (American Society of Interior Design, 2012).
Using qualitative data collection tools like focus groups, guided interviews and questionnaires, the researcher investigated the current facilities at Thogoto home for the aged and their conditions. In addition, the researcher has profiled the residents citing their daily lifestyles, medical conditions and their other special needs in life. The data analysis done established that Thogoto home for the aged, located in Kikuyu, Nairobi had not adequately applied Universal design principles and guidelines in designing the interiors, furniture, landscape, exhibition and display. The investigative research carried out at the site established that Universal design principles have not been applied so as to create an assisted living environment for the aged.
The data analyzed by the researcher has been presented in form of detailed reports of the findings, tables and photographs as data collection methods. In conclusion of this research, the researcher recommends the preferred and the most applicable design solutions using Universal design principles for the interior architecture, furniture design, landscaping design, exhibition and display at Thogoto home for the aged.

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