Journal of Housing for the Elderly vol:25 issue:4 pages:329-351
In Flanders housing for people moving into old age is evolving towards small-scale facilities and better quality of life, yet the ageing of the population strains the means to achieve this to the limit. In this article, we investigate whether and how Flemish large-scale facilities, despite their negative image, can adapt to meet contemporary and future requirements in care for older people. By analysing current tendencies, we develop a better understanding of what housing for older people should look like, now and in the future. We then investigate how an existing large-scale care home can fit this picture by using design as a mode of knowledge production. Starting from the actual evolution of this particular facility into a 'campus for older people', we propose to redesign the site such that this evolution would be redirected in a far-reaching way. Our study is of critical importance in that it demonstrates through redesign the possibility of doing things better, and pictures a valuable alternative for present practice. The implications of our study thus reach beyond the facility at issue. We show how large-scale facilities in Flanders could develop so that they can still play a role in the future. Especially important is that they adapt their infrastructure to current needs and expectations in a timely way, combine the (economical) advantages of their size with qualities of small-scale housing schemes, and integrate in the neighbourhood.