Managing Director, Calderflower Architects
Lara Calder joined the practice in 2010, as the Managing Director of Calderflower Architects. With a focus on innovative and sustainable architecture, Lara champions her team to challenge the conventions of aged care, seniors living and community design.
Lara is passionate about delivering and positively influencing the future needs for the care and accommodation of the elderly and fostering their social relationships within our communities. She designs refreshingly alternative buildings with a strong consideration for the environment and the unique space of each project.
Coming from a professional background in healthcare, Lara brings first-hand experience in the field and uses her experience and deep understanding of the needs of the elderly to design successful projects. She also participates in research projects and sits on various committees relating to the care sector and seniors housing design. She has presented her own research and ideas at conferences throughout Australia and the world.
Sharing is Caring – Ageing in a Co-living Community.
Alongside the newly released inter-generational report are multiple forecasts about what older people could expect in the years ahead.
Older people today are much more attentive on their physical health, fitness, wellbeing, nutrition etc. More than ever before there is public and media participation on healthy ageing. It is no longer a hidden or shameful agenda but a loud and proud conversation that includes topics that were shied away from previously like menopause, continence, brain and memory health, and the ‘sexiness’ of later life with opportunities for travel, hobbies and romance being flaunted boldly.
We know we will be living longer so the future is about remaining engaged in active life for longer than previous generations have done. ‘Active’ amongst other things includes working, volunteering, studying, re-qualifying, performing and participating in society.
When someone doesn’t have the choice to ‘retire’ and the financial future is a stressful one, we as architects and developers of seniors housing need to help deliver safe and secure accommodation options for older more vulnerable people with the dignity of well designed, creative built outcomes.
More older people are single and living alone than ever before and remaining socially connected is a major part of well-being which closely affects physical health. This abstract topic is about the benefits of co-living and shared communities. We live in a ‘sharing’ economy and it’s become more accepted to share cars, community gardens, holiday homes, lawn mowers, clothing, workspaces etc.
The future of healthy ageing is about maintaining the confidence to remain ‘active’ and to have control of ones’ future health, strength, acuity and enjoyment of a ‘good life’. Housing and accommodation is a vital part of a person’s identity, persona and overall sense of personal pride and self worth.
Co-housing is now a recognised housing typology in planning legislation (the NSW SEPP(Housing)) and there are groups of older people who are exploring this as a development opportunity to undertake themselves to control their future options. This includes selecting the people who they live with.
These will be communities that look out for each other and help, support and socialise with one another.
A supportive co-living community will age together, have time for one another and be there to care and help like a type of family. This form of ‘volunteered’ support will reduce the need for costly resources in the care economy and give residents a sense of value and purpose.