It seems so obvious: let people age the way they have lived. Today, finally, it’s beginning to happen. From upscale residences in California to family-size nursing homes in Mississippi, living facilities for the elderly are undergoing an architectural and cultural makeover: big, sterile institutions are out, small, homey environments in.

The need has never been greater. Today 35 million Americans are over the age of 65—by 2030, that number is expected to double. As baby boomers age into sixtysomethings, the demand for civilised living will only intensify.

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