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International Dementia Conference
International Dementia Conference
International Dementia Conference

Our emerging culture of vertical living: is greater density a viable solution for people living with dementia?

Presentation Description

The Great Australian Dream is a cultural belief that is tied to home ownership. Whilst housing affordability has increased the difficulty to achieve this in the present day, the housing market is shifting towards greater density and vertical living to increase access to home ownership. Tall buildings have housed people and communities in overseas countries for millennia.

The Tower of Babel narrative might be familiar to most and highlights an early example of our reluctance towards tall structures. According to the biblical story, the Babylonians sought to build a tall tower, high enough to reach the heavens. Upon observation, God prevented the work by confounding the Babylonians' language and causing the people to no longer understand each other. Even today, a stigma of confusion and isolation surrounds vertical living, particularly amongst those who are vulnerable or suffering from memory loss. Does an opportunity exist to create better outcomes for people living with dementia in vertical built environments?

This presentation will explore the fundamental principles of what people consider important for a "home" and a community. It explores where current models for dementia care align with the housing market with respect to density and puts forward a case study for providing contemporary dementia friendly accommodation in a vertical setting. 

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