Through my research of the elderly I discovered that the main problem they face is not a physical problem (which I had originally assumed) but emotional.
The elderly people I spoke with had a mixed outlook on their life, some were still very much content and saw beauty in the simplest things, like the view out their window or old photographs. Many missed being able to take care of people and pets and longed for responsibility. However all of the people I spoke to
Generally felt as if they had lost their identity to their old age and felt the world had no use for them and made that very clear. So I wanted to design something to give these people a sense of worth and be able to show their communities how important they really are.
The site has a big garden that is designed with mobility in mind. The pathways are wide for disabled access and the flowerbeds are raised to reduce back strain. The flowerbeds are also set at a good height for leaning so resting throughout the garden is not a problem. The garden gives the elderly a chance to grow their own fruit and vegetables making them more self-sufficient and independent whilst keeping them safe. The garden is not just a place of work but a relaxing place you can bring your family and enjoy everything you have created.
The Lounge area is a lovely relaxing space with views over the Tay and gardens. This is a meeting place, somewhere to enjoy a cup of tea and relax with new friends.
Research has shown that animal interaction has a great healing effect on the elderly. It seems returning responsibility to someone in the form of taking care of an animal is extremely beneficial. The introduction of animals in an elderly persons life has been proven to increase mobility and generally boost morale. The animals on the PET site have been chosen as they are generally easy to look after. There will be a couple of chickens that’s eggs can be used by the PET community. A field of goats that love interacting with humans and can also be used for milk and cheese. Rabbits run freely and two ponies inhabit the end field. PET’s goal is to boost morale amongst the elderly community and with the responsibility of looking after the animals give them back a sense of worth.
I believe that giving the elderly back a sense of worth will make them feel more valued members of their town or city. I have designed a community project where elderly people can get together, enjoy and maintain gardens, look after animals and regain some responsibility within their community. Its been proven that animals can have healing effects on elderly people and generally boost morale.
This kind of project can be developed all over the world in all sorts of different communities. This design is for the elderly people of Dundee and is situated on an old rail yard site. I’ve taken inspiration for the design from rail tracks.