Playgrounds for the elderly? A great idea!

Take a look at this video that displays playgrounds designed for the “elderly” in Japan. I am trying to avoid saying that these are playgrounds for the “elderly”. I think these playgrounds could serve everyone from children, to athletes stretching before a long run, to people with disabilities, and yes . . . the elderly.

Because I have two small children I am hitting the playgrounds regularly. Climbing on the equipment is fun and healthy even at 43 years old. I know I wouldn’t be doing it if I wasn’t there with my kids, which is sad. I suppose we stop doing this because our culture views an adult as childish to play around on a swingset.

Playgrounds are fun and a great community gathering places for everyone. Sometimes their design and location doesn’t facilitate a diverse population using the space. The urban playground Asa and I visited near the Residence at Thomas Circle is an exception, the layout, location, and amenities in the park helped to bring a diverse group of people together.

Although Japan’s playgrounds that were designed for “children” are underutilized now, in this country we don’t seem to be having that problem. Perhaps our playgrounds can be the setting that will help connect the generations and break down the stigmas associated with age?

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