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Unassisted Living Hardcover – November 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The Monacelli Press (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580933025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580933025
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,306,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wid Chapman, an architect, and Jeffrey P. Rosenfeld, a gerontologist who specializes in the relationship between aging and the built environment, collected 33 examples of residences that have been recently designed to bridge the distance between one’s vital and declining years . . . some with features you might not expect in such homes, like stairs. Their book . . . includes projects like a remote mountain house and a multigenerational community." —The New York Times

"As 77 million boomers begin to retire over the next two decades, they’re launching new careers, taking care of boomerang children, and planning for their next stage in life: senior housing. As gerontologist Jeffery P. Rosenfeld and architect Wid Chapman found in their new book Unassisted Living: Ageless Homes for Later Life, that means anything but nursing homes. Instead, they’re finding ways to extend their independent-living years by remaining active, retrofitting homes with universal design elements like grab bars, waist-high kitchen shelving, and spacious, wheel-chair friendly rooms." —The Fiscal Times

About the Author

Wid Chapman is the principal of Wid Chapman Architects, a firm specializing in hospitality, retail, and residential design. He is a senior faculty member at Parsons School of Design at the New School.

Jeff Rosenfeld is an environmental gerontologist and professor of gerontology at Hofstra University. With Wid Chapman, he is the author of Home Design in an Aging World and a frequent contributor to LiveWire and InformeDesign. 

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Customer Reviews

I look forward to sharing the book with my sibs, friends and colleagues this Holiday season.
Maggie
Done right, our housing will provide a mirror of who we really are inside now, and our space will be designed so that it nurtures us and feed our souls every day.
James Weil
A series of expensive and impersonal interiors, all minimalist, metal and chrome, none having anything to do with older age living much less with lives lived.
Marylouise Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. F. Spear on December 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like some of the others reviewing this book, my wife and I were drawn in by the description and title, which seemed to promise an exploration of plans for ... well ... Unassisted Living -- the motto of neo-retirees and those approaching retirement who want to retire in place. Regrettably, this is more of a self-congratulatory picture book of residential palaces for multimillionaires. Nice pictures, but in terms of substance for the rest of us 99%-ers, sadly, this book is a waste of money.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence L. Powell on December 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is undisputable that this is a beautiful book with beautiful houses, but unless you are a millionaire you will never have any of these homes. I was looking for a book that could help a middle class couple preparing for retirement take a modest home and create a great space. I don't have the money to do what it takes to make the houses represented in the book. So only buy it if you can afford a millionaire's house or you love to look at beautiful, unusual spaces that you cannot afford.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ginny on December 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Unfortunately this book, whose title held such bright promise is truly terrible. Expensive, lots of glossy life style photos and incredibly tiny captions and plans. Great expanses of white page with sketches and caption text so tiny that even those with the best eyesight have to use a magnifying glass.

Virtually all houses are very modern and very high end. Rather than showing details that would help an older person of moderate means devise a house that is truly unassisted, these houses have many stairs and multi levels, vast expanses of glass, very high ceilings and other features that simply don't work for someone wanting a very energy efficient, low maintenance, simple residence for an older person (in good health or needing assistance) anywhere but out west -- only one or two houses/barns are in the northern or eastern states. THis book is hugely disappointing and would get NO stars but the system doesn't allow that.

Further most of the houses are cement block ugly -- with angles and windows it is true, but UGLY.

Island Girl
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pat J. on July 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has a deceptive title and offers very little useful information especially if the reader is hoping for help in designing a home where it is possible to 'age in place'. However, if you are looking for expensive home designs and a look at how 'the other half' lives, this might have use. The homes pictured have many design aspects that would preclude their use for anyone with either a physical or cognitive challenge. Save your money and find a copy of Architectural Digest. Neither one will help in design for unassisted living.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By High Adventure on April 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Unassisted Living? All I see are stairs without railings, huge lawns to mow, and concete floors to break a hip upon. Normally, I love modern architecture and minimalist decor, but that is not what this book was supposed to be about. The person who can afford these homes can afford to pay a burly young man to tend the grass and carry them upstairs...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SusieMcg on June 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nicely illustrated coffee table book. Not what I was expecting. I had hoped for more information and photographs regarding assistive devices and products added into the new home for help with mobility and IADL's in later life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By POH on December 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Often with books showing architectural design, the pictures are what tell the story. In UNASSISTED LIVING the pictures are often intriguing, fun to look at, show manifestation of basic ideas - but the houses themselves seem FAR out of reach for most of us with moderate incomes, especially considering what we will have at retirement! I am interested in ideas, alternatives to 'old folks' home', and it is the narrative in UNASSISTED LIVING that is the most intriguing with ideas to take away and consider in my own life. So it is definitely worth a look, just don't forget to also read!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As a member of the "baby boomer" crowd I found the subject matter of Unassisted Living to be timely and informative. There is no way that anyone I know will go down the "traditional" route of dealing with those "latter years" so I am always on the hunt for alternatives. My friends and I have often discussed the concept of a group purchase of real estate that would allow for a cost efficient - fun - "more in keeping with who we are" way of moving in to our 70's/80's - when we get there. I thought the information presented was comprehensive and beautifully illustrated. Although not all of us will have the luxury of being friends with, married to or in some other manner connected to an architect / interior designer, all of us can benefit from tips throughout this book that goes well beyond basic "grab bars" that we've all become so accustomed to as a basic need for seniors. As one of 9 children who with my sibs retrofitted our family home to better accommodate our parents in their final years -- the point repeatedly made within this book (as is made elsewhere as well) related to the importance of clear - open spaces being tied to safety vis a vis reducing tripping, falling incidents is key. In home environments LESS is absolutely MORE and heck if we can clear clutter and be true minimalists decor wise - why not ! I look forward to sharing the book with my sibs, friends and colleagues this Holiday season.
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