Changing How the Elderly Live

The Swedish government decided Thursday to devote nearly seven million U.S. dollars to a program aiming to improve housing for the elderly.

The Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology will run the program, intending to stimulate fresh ideas towards the design and development of dwellings for senior citizens, reports news agency TT.

One purpose for the money will be to fund architecture competitions that prioritize high-quality living spaces, safety and accessibility for people who can no longer move about as well as they used to.

In a press release, Maria Larsson, the minister of Public Health and Social Services said, "We need new and visionary ideas for how elderly housing can be designed, with respect to both one- and two-person households. The conventional home environment needs to be rethought, so that there is an opportunity for those who wish to remain and feel secure for as long as possible."

The program is slated to begin at the end of 2012.