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IKEA & Sweden’s Queen Are Designing Homes Adjusted For People With Dementia

Image via BoKlok

IKEA has set its sights on building affordable, flat-pack housing for all, including people dealing with memory loss.

BoKlok, a company co-owned by IKEA and Swedish construction firm SKANSKA, is designing homes for dementia patients in Sweden to help lift some weight off the government’s shoulders, as elderly care is largely funded by the government. “That cost is exploding,” says BoKlok CEO Jonas Spangenberg.

To put things in perspective, almost one in four residents in Sweden will be 65 years and above by 2040, according to CNN Business. Spangenberg predicts that in time, Swedes could be “ending up in institutions where they do not want to end up” if no action is done.

As such, the IKEA subsidiary started the ‘SilviaBo’ project, backed up Queen Silvia of Sweden, to create dwellings that are “more suitable” for residents “even with various syndromes.”

Queen Silvia’s own mother suffered from Alzheimer’s. Prior to IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad’s passing in 2018, he dedicated a large donation to the ‘SilviaBo’ project via the queen’s foundation, which brings awareness about dementia care.

Design modifications for accessibility in these homes include the removal of mirrors or dark-colored floors in bathrooms, as they could startle or confuse occupants. Kitchen appliances will also be installed with old-fashioned knobs instead of digital controls.

Outdoor spaces are also integral in the customized dwellings, and “therapeutic” gardens and clubhouses are being built so residents can socialize. The social aspect could encourage partners to move into the homes as well.

Residents will only have to pay what they can afford after living expenses and taxes.

Currently, six apartments have been constructed outside Stockholm. However, tenants have not moved in as BoKlok is facing a permit disagreement with neighbors, though the firm assures that a legal decision is “on its way.”

The company hopes to expand ‘SilviaBo’s development, and is discussing land and zoning allocations with local governments. More progress is expected in 2020, says its founder.

Eventually, the project will also focus on building apartments with minor accessibility tweaks for the newly-retired.

Image via BoKlok

Image via BoKlok

Image via BoKlok

[via CNN Business, images via BoKlok]

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