CONIX RDBM Architects | Expo60+: “Health care becomes a story of living”
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Expo60+: “Health care becomes a story of living”

21 okt 2015
Expo-60+

From October 7 till 9 the yearly care fair Expo 60+ took place in the Nekkerhal in Mechelen. Besides companies offering their services and sharing the latest care related innovations, people could also attend several seminars covering highly relevant care topics.

CEO Jorden Goossenaerts participated in one of the seminars on the topic ‘The future of living and caring for the elderly: the vision of the government, the construction industry and the field of architects.’ He was accompanied by two other guest speakers: Christophe Cousaert of VIPA and Guy Tegenbos, journalist at De Standaard. The debate was moderated by Rik Neven, head of Palindroom and Arcitecturea.be.

Four main questions dominated the debate: How would you evaluate the current supply in the Flemish care market? How will the market be evolving the in future? Would you describe Belgium as a trendsetter or rather a follower? What would be your advice for Minister Vandeurzen and his department? A review.

How would you evaluate the current supply in the Flemish care market?

Jorden Goossenaerts: “We’ve been making a lot of progress, however many work needs to be done. We should further explore the design of flexible concepts and put the subject of care on top of the agenda.”

Christophe Cousaert: “The current supply is too restricted. The former elderly home is surpassed. We should focus more on the power of neighbourhood participation so that the elderly can stay longer at home.”

Guy Tegenbos: “The debate on health care needs to reach further. Our thinking is too small. The society as a whole needs to change and adopt itself to the demands in terms of health care.”

How will the market be evolving the in future?

Jorden Goossenaerts: “In the future we need to think of health care as an integral part of our society. Future buildings should be constructed based on a flexible footprint so that it can receives different functions over time. And its location is preferably in the city center. Health care becomes a story of living.”

Christophe Cousaert: “Concepts promoting neighbourhood participation will become more and more successful. People in need of care will extend their stay at home. Elderly homes and residential care centers as we know it today will be scarce.”

Guy Tegenbos: “The future will be all about universal design. These concepts will be the standard when it comes to care related constructions. This idea will be supported by a bottom-up force of actors from different sectors demanding to determine by law this use of universal design.”

Would you describe Belgium as a trendsetter or rather a follower?

Jorden Goossenaerts: “We can learn a lot from the Scandinavian countries or a country like Switzerland.”

Christophe Cousaert: “There are opportunities for young people by offering their help. In the United States this is frequently done.”

What would be your advice for Minister Vandeurzen and his department?

Jorden Goossenaerts: “Think flexible!”

Christophe Cousaert: “Look around you. The topic should concern all of us. A lot of things can be approved by organizing actions on a small and local scale.”

Guy Tegenbos: “Our biggest threat is loneliness”. We must do our utmost to prevent people from feeling lonely. Minister Vandeurzen has to join forces with different departments to make a framework whereby society can receive all kinds of care.”