The Lebensphasenhaus – a home to last a whole lifetime
As part of a joint project entitled Lebensphasenhaus, or "life phase house", scientists at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the Tubingen University Hospital (UKT) are investigating how systems designed to provide technical living assistance can support self-determination in later life. They are working in close cooperation with the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce, a number of regional companies and other agencies. The project is being funded to the tune of 550,000 Euro by State of Baden-Württemberg and supervised by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Also involved in the project are the Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Economics and Finance.
The "LebensPhasenHaus" constructed in Tübingen's Rosenau district is a building designed to serve the purposes of research and demonstration: It allows the use of both technical assistance systems and associated services to be tested, validated and demonstrated as well as experienced hands-on. The house also offers space for student tutorials and training events for carers, doctors and tradespeople. The aim of the project is to examine how technical and social innovations can enable the elderly and those in need of care to live for longer in their own homes. Expertise from the fields of economics, science and nursing is used to develop innovative social and technical facilities. The aim is to involve stakeholders in the development of solutions from the earliest possible stage, for example users (including relatives), social and health services, medical technology, building firms, insurances or local authorities.
LIGHT IS LIFE
RIDI Leuchten GmbH is one of the six partner companies working on the project, and is fully committed to making living conditions more individual, safe and sustainable particularly for the elderly. The "LebensPhasenHaus" project in Tübingen provides an outstanding opportunity to put this approach into practice. By examining areas such as "light and health", "light in old age" and "living in the future", this project offers the chance to gain new knowledge which will also be of practical benefit to communities in the Neckar-Alb region. Given responsibility for providing energy-efficient LED lighting the house, RIDI mounted light fittings with lighting control systems (with facility for regulation from cold to warm white) in the living room, bathroom and kitchen. These can be controlled for optimum adjustment to the living patterns of the occupants with colour temperatures of between 3000 and 6500 Kelvin. A night light with colour control for a healthy waking-sleeping rhythm, integrated floor lights guiding from the bedroom to the bathroom, and an "artificial horizon" in the form of integrated light strips in the door frames and walls are all designed to help residents rise on dark mornings and also provide orientation.
Other project partner companies and agencies include Schwörerhaus KG, Somfy GmbH, the utility company Stadtwerke Tübingen SWT, the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Baden-Württemberg Association of Gardening, Landscaping and Sports Ground Construction.
A number of other regional firms are also supporting the project.