Elevating the 60+ Experience: A Place Where Recreation With Purpose Bridges Generational Gaps and Enhances Satisfaction With Life Open Access
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The objective of this project was to study how interior design can be used to improve the life satisfaction for people of age 60+ by providing them with an inclusive space especially designed to promote positive attitudes towards aging that not only promotes more personal satisfaction in life, but also be better perceived by and connected to the community. In today’s society, people of advanced age are often regarded as irrelevant or out of touch with society. However this research shows that these people still have vibrant personalities, hopes and the same desire for purpose as younger people do. Studies have shown that there are specific attitudes towards aging that have a direct positive or negative impact on their satisfaction with life. Positive attitudes towards aging include growing old and having a sense of purpose, feeling connected to others, and being respected by others. Negative attitudes include feelings of loss like depression, loneliness and exclusion, and discrimination. In sum, these attitudes include perceptions of self, social perceptions, and feeling of community, which were further observed in order to inform a possible solution.Studying at a deeper level senior’s attitudes towards aging and what fosters and deters these perceptions informed how to create a space that focuses on fomenting the elements that will improve senior’s satisfaction with life and repairing the perceptions that negatively impact it. The methodology used to understand the requirements for satisfaction with life at an advanced age was research by agent organizations, psychological journals and books on the subject of aging, recreation and social inclusion.Based on the results found in the research, the solution was designed to provide an inviting space where seniors could develop a community in order to combat feelings of psychological loss like loneliness and exclusion. The solution also focused on providing flexible spaces that accommodate goal-oriented activities to a variety of physical and mental abilities that promote a sense of purpose. Another goal programmatically addressed was improving social perception of aging by including spaces where seniors interact with the community.