It should also be noted that the number of women-run households is steadily increasing with percentages distributed among those caring for children under the age of 18, single, professional women and widowed women over the age of 65 .4 This is the demographic that we need to be reaching out to in the form of education regarding the options they have through Inclusive or Life Span Design. Consumers do not demand this type of design because they do not know it exists or the benefits associated with it and until they begin to demand it, we will not see the consistent implementation required to make a beneficial difference. Women-run professional organizations, social networks and church groups are good places to begin the educational process as these organizations are always seeking guest speakers for meetings and, being women, are inherently concerned with issues concerning long-term care of loved ones. Although most people today do not want to hear that THEY are getting older and will need home modifications as they age, these same people are usually open to learning how they can best take care of others in their lives. Very often, a “back door” approach can be the most effective tool for acceptance of inclusive design.
As we endeavor to gain opportunities to build knowledge and support, we must be willing to get creative with means of access. During times of financial strain, a viable avenue for introduction of the concept may be addressing the monetary advantages of building an adaptable home as opposed to funding a semi-private room in an assisted living facility. If the current issue in your area is concerning insufficient staffing for healthcare or funding limitations for medical facilities that are affecting care and services, if may be effective to use this approach to highlight the advantages of being able to care for a loved one at home. Once again, we must think outside the box as the subject of aging or physical disability is not one that most people wish to discuss if they are not directly affected at that particular moment.