It’s never too soon to design your life for aging, says architect Matthias Hollwich. And he’s not just talking about designing space.
Hollwich, a visiting professor at University of Pennsylvania, has just published a perceptive book called New Aging that serves as a guide for thinking about aging long before the time comes to make tough decisions.
His approach involves thinking as much about social structure as physical structure. Sure, it’s a good idea to remodel your home to accommodate old age. But it’s even more important to remodel your social connections. Says Hollwich:
“People should look at the aging process as starting up a business. It would be helpful for people to pick a board of directors for your own life. Get four to five people in a room that you really trust and tell them what you plan to do in different stages of getting older. Let them be your steering committee and your sounding board so you can do the right things in terms of navigating your life. I really believe it's important that we have to start sharing our thoughts and plans with each other. Everyone has these thoughts, but everyone keeps it very private. As a community you're much stronger and we can help each other.”
For more of Hollwich’s insight, go to his interview with NPR.