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Carefree Living, Gouda, NL

As a result of recent demographic developments, both the German and Dutch markets for senior housing are facing major challenges. These challenges were discussed during the bilateral entrepreneurial forum 'Carefree living' on the basis of concrete examples. The event focused on companies from the care sector, municipalities, housing cooperatives, project developers, architects and other sector experts. 
"Recent figures show that by 2030 there will be around 22.3 million German elderly people and there is a need for renovation and conversion of at least 3 million existing homes", says Elisa Gentzsch, export consultant at the German-Dutch Chamber of Commerce (DNHK). At the same time, Gentzsch sees the same trend in the Netherlands: "80 percent of older people would like to stay at home. This results in a large shortage of senior housing in the Netherlands". 
On the basis of concrete examples, experts in the field of architecture and construction have highlighted their vision of the current problems and presented concrete solutions. For example, Stephan van Erp, manager strategy and business operations at Casade housing corporation, approached the theme of care-suitable living from the perspective of a housing corporation. He also discussed the real estate strategy to meet the wishes of the older tenant. Van Erp: "Together with the tenant we will look at what possibilities there are to fulfill their housing needs at the moment that care presents itself. 
Chairman of the German Bundesverband Barrierefrei e.V., Marianne Drößiger, presented an overview of current developments and challenges in the German market. 
Frank van Dillen, discussed topics such as independent living, care for the elderly and the role of a social network for the elderly. 
Finally, during his presentation, Michael Schlenke, founder of The Caretakers, discussed the impact of demography on the new construction and renovation of care institutions and social real estate.