By Associate Profesor Dr Alice Sabrina Ismail (Director Architecture program)
Elderly living and the concept of ageing in place is a crucial issue faced by many well-developed and developed nations. Malaysia’s life expectancy, for instance, may increase by 2030, where the ageing population aged above 65 years and over is growing faster than all other age groups. It is expected that this ageing population will be more than 15% of the total population in the year 2030, and this percentage is likely to rise higher over the next three decades. The increasing longevity indicates the climbing numbers of surviving older people, who demand better living and Quality of Life (QoL) later in life and retirement concerning housing, transportation, social participation and health services. Realizing this, the Adjunct Professorial Lecture presented by Adjunct Professor Dr Karim Hadjri from School of Architecture, University of Sheffield highlights on the framework of the elderly housing design concept about the ODESSA (Optimizing care delivery models to support ageing-in-place) project. Adjunct Professor Dr Karim Hadjri is an architect and is the Head of Architecture School at the University of Sheffield and has led and participated in 28 international research projects worldwide on age-friendly environments sustainable design of the built environment, including housing and health. This ODESSA project is a collaborative partnership between the UK, China, and France research group to establish a design guideline for future elderly housing concerning mobility, sensory, cognitive, health and safety, and social inclusion. This event, conducted on 14 December 2021, was officiated by Associate Professor Dr Alice Sabrina Ismail, Director of the UTM Architecture Program and moderated by Dr Iziq Eafifi Ismail. This event has received positive feedback and attracted many local and international students and academic staff from various institutions, including public and private agencies. The 4-hour dialogue session highlighted many issues faced by elderly housing, looking into examples of case studies in China and the EU (European Union). This online lecture promotes and heightens the sense of awareness among academicians, students and the public to propagate a feeling of responsibility in providing a better living environment for the elderly population. Due to overwhelmed response from many parties, the UTM Architecture program will organize more dialogues on housing development to promote better living quality for the future society of Malaysia.