In Asia, it is not uncommon for us to be living in tiny living space. From Tokyo, Singapore, China and even Thailand, we’ve all heard, know or even are living in very tiny homes in a very overcrowded city. Cost of living is high, we pay a mint for our homes and we end up living in little shoeboxes in the sky. In a recent article by the Atlantic. The issues of micro apartments were discussed and the question is “how small can our living spaces get before it starts to impact on our physical and psychological health?”
The article talks about how these apartments serve their purpose for young, childless couples who had just started out in the world and wish to live close to the city or work or play. However, for people with children or living in a multigenerational family unit, how do people cope?
Looking back in Asia, for many in the sandwich generation, working long 10 to 14-hour shifts, caring for children and our parents. The home is suppose to be a safe haven, but when overcrowding occurs some people may feel a sense of dread befalling on them when it is time to go home. Trapped between the tortures of work and the stress of claustrophobic home.
The article talks about how living in small apartments can affect the concentration of children and in turn, impact on their studies. The article also talks about the lack of privacy and how it may cause children to become withdrawn. If these housing conditions can have such fundamental impacts on children the implications for older adults living in such apartments with cognitive impairment and dementia must be very challenging.
However, in Japan, despite the overcrowding and challenging living conditions, strong community initiatives have risen to help support the physical and mental well-being of older adults living in these housing conditions. The Dementia Support Caravan (DSC), founded a decade ago help apartment managers to work with older tenants who may be living with dementia and require support from the community. As the number of people with dementia
The Dementia Support Caravan (DSC), founded a decade ago help apartment managers to work with older tenants who may be living with dementia and require support from the community. As the number of people with dementia continue to grow in Asia and housing conditions continue to remain unchanged; initiatives such as the DSC can help older adults with dementia age in place in their units within the community. It is in hope that more urban regions in Asia may develop similar programmes to support the people with dementia and their family living in the high-rise communities.
Source: The Health Risks of Small Apartments – The Atlantic
Source: Hand for dementia – Japan Times