Is the changing demographic reshaping our cities?

As baby boomers age, cities will have to be redesigned in many ways in order to better accommodate their needs.

First, better accommodation for elderly and disabled individuals needs to be expanded in public transits. There are many different levels at subway stations, which means that we have to take sets of stairs to catch your train. This means that nearly fifty percent of our daily cardio workout is finished while commuting in subway trains, which may be a good thing for some of us!However, there are elevators and escalators as well that travelers can use. There is usually just one escalator/elevator at each level, which may not be seen as a problem now but will be in the near future. More sets of elevators and escalators would need to be installed to better accommodate the changing demographics. Furthermore, assistance services, similar to those at airports, may be required to help persons in their old age move around the station. Trains’ seating arrangements would have to be redesigned such that the first several seats are priority seating (for elderly persons, those with disabilities etc.). Wheelchair chair lifts ramp may also be required in trains.

Second, real estate companies will have to carefully consider house plans to better accommodate the aging population. For example, in the recent years, newly constructed homes are two- to three-storey high. If an elderly person were to carry out an independent living, their ailing health may not permit them to use stairs. In this case, one-storey homes with all rooms and washrooms on the main level would be a better option. Similarly, a bathtub may need to be replaced with a walk-in shower with a bench. This would help to prevent any falls or injuries from falls. People say that you can remodel your house in any way that you like, but the truth is that most people avoid doing that because it is expensive and you may have hard time selling your remodelled house if it is  different from the norm. Also, most houses today are built to attract younger consumers. However, with the aging population, real estate companies will have to shift their focus to consumers of different demographics in order to respect baby boomers’ wishes of ‘aging in place’.

The above are just two examples of how we can help baby boomers carry out independent living as they age. There are many more examples, ranging from larger street name signs to wider sidewalks to accommodate for wheelchairs and other pedestrians.

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