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Where do you want to live when you grow older?
For most of us, the answer is "at home." A new exhibition that opens on February 5th at the Goldstein Museum of Design looks at what a future “home” may look like as the population ages, and more of us decide we want to “age in place”.
The “Smart House, Livable Community, Your Future” exhibition, hosted by Housing Studies professor, and MN Home Ownership Center Board Member, Marilyn Bruin and Masters student Jodene Riha will explore the development of new products, technologies and design elements that will allow people to stay in their homes longer as they age.
The exhibition actually walks you through a home inhabited by fictional, 65-ish homeowners, Jim and Sarah, who have recently renovated their 1960s home so that they can continue to enjoy their active, engaged lifestyle. Visitors are actually encouraged to try out (hands-on) all of the items in the home. Visitors can sit in a power-lifted chair, handle easy-to-use-kitchen utensils, scoot around the kitchen on a wheeled chair to try out lower counters, operate an easy-open window, sit in a fully-adjustable desk chair at an ergonomically-designed desk, and observe wall colors and lighting that ameliorate the impact of changing vision. The bath will feature a walk-in shower and reinforced wall for grab bars. Visitors will learn about a Fall Guard alert system, auto-dispensers for medications, special environmental controls, and tools and technologies that allow Jim and Sarah to do the activities they enjoy and keep them connected to the world.
The exhibition runs from February 5th through May 22nd, 2011. There is an opening party being held on Friday, February 4th from 6-8pm at 241 McNeal Hall, 1985 Buford Avenue in St. Paul. For additional information, visit the Goldstein Museum of Design website here.