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As time goes by, parents get old and seek for the attention and care from their offspring. The
responsibility of the offspring to take care of the elderly till there final breath, this culture gain from our
ancestor which passed all over the years. This practice might be difficult for some especially when the
elder has health issues, or their social living is financially unstable and challenging for some which has
own families. Sometimes it ends up with undesirable ending, which some families have no intension to
left or abandoned their love ones in rough times. However, there are still Filipino elders who are
homeless and abandoned by their own family. Despite of their situation, these elders are considered to
be part of the community. Thus, there are residential care facilities or home for the aged that
accommodate them. These facilities offer social service that includes provision of basic necessities,
special care and rehabilitation. There only few number of home for the aged all over the country, and
only four of them are maintained by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). These
are located in Rizal, Quezon City, Davao City, and Zamboanga City. However, the increasing number of
abandoned elderly has resulted in the over population of some facilities. Most of the existing elderly
care facilities in the country are generally unsuitable its primary user and are lacking of some
architectural aspect.

This research will explore the different programs, and behavioral architecture that can adapt to
support the livability of the elder overtime. Also, this research will analyze how home for the aged can
be program with consideration towards the mobility, security, health, comfortability, anthropometrics,
ergonomics and well-environment.



Home for the aged fulfill the special needs and requirements of the elderly. This encompasses
such service as facilities for meals, gatherings, recreational activities, and some form of health or
hospice care. In present, the home for the aged do not achieve their function to the society, which
reflect to the condition of the institution that cannot support the increasing number of the elder. The
institution faces different problem that redevelopment needs to answer: population growth, inefficient
organization of program, dilapidated facilities, and the loss of the identity of the site as an institution
and empowerment of the elderly. A design of home for the aged must consider the capability of the user
to live comfortably. A livable community that is safe and secure which gives a happier and healthier
environment to the elder. A livability which promotes physical independence and offers a supportive
community features and services designed to enhance the ability of the residents with diverse needs to
remain independent and actively engaged in the community life.

According to Mrs. Judy Taguiwalo the former Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD) the case of grandparent that are not capable to support and take care of
themselves increase. There are almost 1.2 Million indigence senior citizens in the Philippines and they
have no occupation. Including other living with their destitute child, homeless, vendors living on streets
and those without support system or family. The resident may have home but still they seek for the
comfort of their families. (ABS-CBN News, 2017)

For over millions of senior citizens, there are only 4 homes for the aged that are provided by our
local government. For it to be recognized as an effective facility, it must have accredited first by our local
government under Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Other benefits and
privilege may be provided from the time to time as deemed appropriate by the department.

The major concern of the facility is the lack maintenance due to insufficient fund from
government. The environment plays the important role which gives a big impact to the resident that
affects is mentality and behavior. Home is not a home, this is the common mistake of home design
nowadays. Most design has lack of authentic connection to nature and culture that leaves the feeling of
disconnected or isolated.


Enchasing the livability of the elder, this is the concern of building home for the aged but
unavoidable to achieved because of (1) the normal capacity of home for the aged double because of
increase of abandoned elder, (2) the number of elder increase but number of staff and volunteers lessen
(GMA News, 2012). Furthermore, the institution must focus in the following problem: redevelopment of
the present condition of the facility, considering the mobility of the elder, and possible solutions that
environment and technology could blend to the facility.


This study aims to know how the design will be effective to the livability of the aged using
behavioral approach for their community.


Various sub-problems occur including (1) What are the typical setting of home for the aged, (2)
What is the recent condition of the home for the aged, (3) What makes the facility uncomfortable to live
by elder, (4) What should be the ideal setting of the home for the aged?


The main goal of the study is to provide a secured, de-stressed and livable home environment
facility for the elders, in which primarily consider the health, comfortability and well-being of the users.

OBJ. 1. The needs of the elderly in the home for the aged.


a. Read and watch related articles and videos about the home for the aged.
b. List and analyze the activity gathered from the articles.

OBJ. 2. To know the standards that need to apply in designing home for the aged.


a. Make a research in different article about the local and international standards adapted to the
design of home for the aged.
b. Gather different code survey related in the home for the aged.

OBJ. 3. Determine the existing condition of the home for the aged.


a. Review the different of condition of private and public institutional facility.

b. Determine the positive and negative characteristics of existing institutional facility.

OBJ. 4. To have a broad study about different methods that answers the needs of the residents in the

a. Make a review about anthropometrics and ergonomics.

b. Make a study about suitable architectural approaches and solutions needed to the home for the


All the data and information presented in this paper is gathered through different articles and
videos collected by the researcher. The Actual visit, photos and interview of the elder inside the
institutional facility is prohibited.

This research covers only the physical characteristics of the facility, which only focuses through
different architectural and structural aspect. In addition, this research aims to identify what are the
effects of the existing condition of the institutional facility to the livability and behavior of the user.


This research will be significant to the following:

Elders – this study will benefit and help the elders by providing a secured, de-stressed and livable home
environment facility for the elders, in which primarily consider the health, comfortability and well-being
of the users.

Staffs and Volunteers – this research will help to provide additional importance to the needs of the
elderly. And it is also an eye opening to the awareness of the staff and volunteers that elders need
special attention.

Department of Social Welfare and Private Organization – this research will benefit and help the two
agency/ organization for them to give additional resources that could help and provide adequate
knowledge for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Private Organization
(PO) to focus mainly on the needs of every elderly.

Other Researchers- the result of this study will serve as an additional literature to the future study and
will help the future researchers to be interested in the same concern.


The result of this research provides certain preliminary evidence that the design for housing
subsidies headed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and different sectors
of foundations that can fit the community of the elder using the behavioral approach in the home
setting is design which emphasize the factors needed such as safety, security, mobility, and comfortable


1. Wiles, J. (2012, June). The Meaning of “Aging in Place” to Older People. Retrieved from

This study illuminates the concept of “aging in place” in terms of functional, symbolic, and
emotional attachments and meanings of homes, neighborhoods, and communities. It investigates how
older people understand the meaning of “aging in place,” a term widely used in aging policy and
research but underexplored with older people themselves.
The article can use as basis on what do elder prepare for a place to grow. Wherein, after a group
of interviews to different individuals. They come up with this answer that elder choose to live where
they aged in place. Because of the sense of attachment or connection and feeling of security and
familiarity in both home and communities.

2. Ramsey, C. and Hoke J. (2000). Architectural Graphics Standards. U.S.A.: Wiley.

This article can use as guide for a functional planning, environmental assessment and building
resiliency. In addition, this article also covers different standard dimension based on anthropometrics
and meet ergonomic needs which must primarily consider for the elder use.

3. Heimsath, C. (1978). Behavioral Architecture. Retrieved from

This article tells that Behavioral Architecture requires sophisticated insights that did not come
from architects but to the Behavioral Psychologists who looked over into our field, briefly at first, and
then more intently as they discerned that we were constructing buildings without knowledge of people.

The Architect must tune into the choreography of human activities – the rituals we have been
performing for thousands of years: eating, sleeping, providing shelter and creature comforts. . .

Many buildings are constructed without consideration of the role patterns of the service-staff.
This article tells that consideration must base in the repetitive role that define the activities of people.
Also, this article gives a theoretical guide, which tells “that all human activity places humans in a service-
served relationship. If this theory is valid, it casts significant light on human interaction.

4. Palmer, J. and Ward, S. (2013). The Livable and Adaptable House. Retrieved from

This article tells that there is no single solution in designing a home to meet changing needs;
however, several approaches exist such as: Livable house – is based on the principles of ‘universal
design’ — defined as the design of products and environments so that they are usable by all people, to
the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Accessible house –
which designed to meet the needs of people requiring higher level access from the outset, and usually
designed and built with a specific person’s needs in mind. And, Adaptable house – which adopts the idea
of a livable house but in addition is able to be easily adapted to become an accessible house if the need
should arise.

These different approaches can use to meet the changing needs of the most home occupants
throughout their lifetime without the need for specialization. Also, these approaches have provision for
further modifications should they be required to meet the specific needs of a disabled occupant.
And lastly, these approaches cover the Batas Pambansa 344 which “Enhance the mobility of disabled
persons by requiring certain buildings, institutions, establishments and public utilities
to install facilities and other devices.”

5. Faurest, K. Healing Landscape. Retrieved from

This article usually refers to gardens designed to promote recovery, but in this case, healing is
seen as an improvement in overall health and well-being that incorporates the spiritual, emotional and
psychological, as well as the physical.
This article has the idea of Horticultural Therapy which can be applied to both therapeutic
landscapes and healing gardens. The American Horticulture Therapy Association defines horticulture
therapy as "a process utilizing plants and horticultural activities to improve social, educational,
psychological and physical adjustment of persons thus improving their body, mind and spirit."

6. Barnes, S. (2002). The design of caring environments and the quality of life of older people.
Retrieved from
This article is concerned with the architectural design and physical environment provided by
residential and nursing homes for older people, and the impact this has on the quality of life of the
residents. To date, there has been little systematic research into such care settings, and this article
reviews empirical studies from both architectural and psychological literature in order to investigate key
issues in designing caring environments. It outlines the difficulties involved in measuring both the
environment and the quality of life of residents, and it emphasizes the importance of not only studying
the design of buildings, but also the way they are used in practice. The terms ‘environment’ and ‘setting’
will be used interchangeably to relate to the care home building and immediate surrounding area that is
available to the residents.

This article can use as a guide for an effective design for well environment which affects the
quality of life of the elders. This article gives the idea of the user shapes the building, which the home
was design based on practices of the user.

7. Fung, H. (June, 2013). Aging in Culture. Retrieved from

This article discuss about the difference of theoretical development of aging from 3 different
countries which in asia, north america and wetern europe cultures. The author attempt to extend
socioemotional selectivity theory (Carsten, 2006), a theory which develop in United States about the
different goals, to account for the influence of cultural contexts on aging. In particular to, (1) individual
make sense of life through internalizing the values of their cultures, these internalized cultural values
become personal goals that guideadult development, (2) the individuals from different cultures pursue
their own internalized cultural value with age, cultural differences in aging occur. The author
acknowledge that most of the emperical findings revied subsequently are cross-sectional findings, from
a number of cultures only. From the life course perspective (see Alwin, 2012 for a review), both place (in
this case, culture) and time (in this case, age and cohort) contribute to human development. The cross-
sectional findings should be interpreted with caution as age differences can reflect cohort effects and/or
developmental changes. Nevertheless, because cohort effects tend to vary with culture, reviewing
whether the patterns of age differences are the same or different across cultures can help to partially
isolate developmental changes from culture-related cohort effects.

From this article it was suggested by the author, the government and professional bodies should
not develop their policies and intervention program only by adopting “good practices” from the
mainstream literature. On the other hand, these findings suggest that cultural differences in aging are
not random. To look for he cultural differences in aging in areas where known cultural differences in
values exist.

8. Palafox, F. (2014). The Architecture and Design of Senior Living Communities. Retrieved from

This article tells that there are certain architectural and plannng design should be consider for
senior homes/communities. Arch. Palafox based the idea from the book Retirement Facilities: Planning,
Design, and Marketig by Godman &Smith, among such considerations are those that pertain to changing
sense of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and even taste. Aside from this, body structure and composition,
memory and mental impairement, emotional resposnes, equilibrium and balance, stregth and dexterity,
and putting up appropriate signage should be considered in the design plan as well.

The first thing that we considered as architects and designers is mobility. The senior citizens
need to get around and perform their daily tasks, which could prove problematic instead of simple. In
the architectural design, replacing the stairs with elevators and ramps whenever possible. Upon entering
the community center, a large winding ramp with non-slip surfaces and support railings goes all the way
up to the second and third floor.
The design also required more space for the seniors to get around, so wide hallways with
appropriate lighting was considered. Moreover, the building system planned to accommodate better air
circulation and lighter for the seniors to see at the same level they did when they were younger.

The community center design will integrate a barangay office, medical clinic, and a multi-
purpose hall on the ground floor to host activities for seniors. A jogging path is also integrated into the
landscape design behind the community center, so that senior citizens can walk under the refreshing
green canopy.

Venturing into designing senior community homes is not just a complex project, it’s establishing
one of the most intimate relationships with parents, the same parents who spent years taking care of us
when were young, making sure that didn’t hurt our delicate young bodies. It’s about time showing the
same courtesy back to them.



Behavioral Architecture

Behavioral Architecture requires a sophisticated insight that did not come from architects; they
came from a new breed of behavioral psychologist who looked dover into our field, briefly at first, and
then more intently as they discerned that we were constructing buildings without knowledge of people
– with assumptions about people that nave, or totally false, or, in some cases, downright destructive. So
behavioral psychologists came into our field- not soon enough, but probably at the right time, since
architecture had not been in such flux since the beginning of the modern movement. Behavioral
psychologists demonstrated to architects that we did not know about roles that define the activities of
people. So, architects began reading and thinking about roles. Today those who practicing behavioral
architecture begin every assignment by determining the roles performed in the building. “Is that all
human activity places humans in a service-served relationship (Heimsath, C. 1978, p.41).

Defining roles is only the commencement of the behavioral adventure that ends with turning
buildings inside-out. From roles must advance to consideration of activities.

Culture Theory

The article “Aging in Culture” (Fung, H. April 2013) reviewed suggest that socioemotional aging,
at least in the areas of personality, social relationships, and cognition, may not manifest in exactly the
same way across cultures. Moreover, when cultural differences in aging occur, they are usually
consistent with known cultural differences in values. These findings inspire me to argue that
socioemotional development across adulthood may be part of a life-long process: Individuals in each
culture learn to be more culturally appropriate as they grow older. Cultural differences in aging (i.e., age
by culture interactions) occur when people from different cultural contexts learn different ways to
become culturally appropriate. By proposing this argument, I agree with the basic premise of life-span
developmental theories (Baltes & Baltes, 1990; Brandtstädter & Rothermund, 2002; Carstensen et al.,
1999; Heckhausen & Schulz, 1995) that as people age, they shape their world in ways that maximize
their well-being, but I add that people do so within the confines and definitions of their respective
Adaptable Theory

In addition to being designed to be usable by most people, the adaptable house has provision
for further modifications should they be required to meet the specific needs of a disabled occupant. This
may include modifying kitchen joinery and altering the laundry and bathroom to improve access and
usability, increasing lighting levels in response to vision impairment, or introducing support devices such
as grab rails and/or additional security measures.







Government /non- Usable by all people, to the -R.A. 7876 (An act an act
government agencies that greatest extent possible, without establishing a senior citizens
supports the entire program the need for adaptation or center in all cities and
by providing funds and other specialized design. Municipalities of the
Philippines, and
appropriating funds
MOBILITY Therefor)
Effective course for the elder to -The 1986 Constitution
move or be moved freely and Article 13, Section 11
Learning values from the
easily. -The 1986 Constitution XV,
program that will affects
their behavior towards their Section 4
Capability to adapt to meet the LOCAL GOVERNMENT UNIT
needs of user.

Plays the important role in GUIDELINES OF HOME
the community, which gives DESIGN
a big impact of the mentality
or behavior of the elder.



Objective Method / Expected Source of Requirements Timeframe

Activity Output Information
1.To Gathering of Determine Department of -Survey 1 Week
determine the information the behavior Social Welfare instrument
present, and data of the elder and -Pictures of
future needs and conduct to their Development the facility
and capacity observation. environment. (DSWD) and
of the home News on TV
for the aged
with regards
to changing
lifestyle of
2.To analyze Design and The new Housing and 3 Days
the gathered Planning model of the Urban
data and Phase facility Development
create satisfied the Coordinating
synthesis that needs Council (HUDCC),
meets the National Anti-
DSWD, Poverty
Housing and Commission
Urban (NAPC),
Development Department of
Coordinating Social Welfare
Council and
(HUDCC), the Development
National Anti- (DSWD), BP 344
Poverty and Architectural
Commission Graphics
(NAPC) Standards
classification (Anthropometrics
and the and Ergonomics)
Behavior of
the elder.


Livability – is the sum of the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life—including the built
and natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity,
and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities.

Mobility - the quality or state of being mobile or movable.

Anthropometrics – is the comparative study of the measurements and capabilities of the human

Ergonomics - is the process of designing or arranging workplaces, products and systems so that they
fit the people who use them.

HUDDC - The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council of the Philippines,
abbreviated as HUDCC, is the umbrella agency of various housing and development offices of the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines.
NAPC – The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) is a government agency of the Republic of
the Philippines. It coordinates poverty reduction programs by national and local governments and
ensures that marginalized sectors participate in government decision-making processes.

DSWD - The Philippines' Department of Social Welfare and Development is the executive
department of the Philippine Government responsible for the protection of the social welfare of
rights of Filipinos and to promote social development.


 Wiles, J. (2012, June). The Meaning of “Aging in Place” to Older People. Retrieved from
 Ramsey, C. and Hoke J. (2000). Architectural Graphics Standards. U.S.A.: Wiley.
 Heimsath, C. (1978). Behavioral Architecture. Retrieved from
 Palmer, J. and Ward, S. (2013). The Livable and Adaptable House. Retrieved from
 Faurest, K. Healing Landscape. Retrieved from
 Barnes, S. (2002). The design of caring environments and the quality of life of older people.
Retrieved from
 Fung, H. (June, 2013). Aging in Culture. Retrieved from
 Palafox, F. (2014). The Architecture and Design of Senior Living Communities. Retrieved from
Retrieved from
 ABS-CBN News (May, 2017). Failon Ngayon: Elderly Abandonment. Retrieved from
 GMA News (February, 2011). State of the Nation with Jessica Soho. Retrieved from