University of Southern Indiana
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Minka Learning Lab for Living Well

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The Center for Healthy Aging and Wellness has created a Learning Lab for Living Well at the Minka house on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana. The Minka house is an aging-in-place concept home, designed by nationally-renowned aging expert Dr. Bill Thomas, and funded by USI, the USI Foundation and supported by AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons), The vision is to help southwest Indiana see the possibilities of aging well, where and how each person wishes. In addition, the Learning Lab offers an opportunity for students, faculty, and healthcare professionals to participate in research, simulations, and interdisciplinary class projects on aging and living well as well as health care leadership development, The Learning Lab for Living Well provides all in the local community a place to learn about and to adapt home innovations for aging-in-place.

WELL Building Standards
The 600-square-foot Minka home was built with universal design accessibility and advanced manufacturing technology. Construction was completed in October 2018 (Learn more about the Minka construction). According to the the WELL Building Standard website, the standard is an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and well-being. The concepts of air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind all make up parts of the WELL standard. Learn more about the WELL Standard. Each concept will be addressed in the Minka to showcase what is possible for living well and aging-in-place. Some technologies that will be in the Minka includes a smart home hub, virtual assistant, and a state of the art lighting system. Future plans for an outdoor garden and sitting area will help incorporate the concepts of air, fitness, and mind. Following the WELL Building Standard provides the standards to guide the technology assessment and implementation on helping people live well and where they wish. 

Advisory Board
A diverse advisory board, including professors, health professionals, students, and community members, has been established and will continue to expand. The board’s goal is to recommend, help select, and test various technologies in the Minka concept home. These technologies are being studied through evidence-based literature, technology assessments, workshops, and bimonthly meetings. The board will also be involved in special semester projects and initiatives for the Minka, such as mentoring the GWEP interns or brainstorming for class projects.

If you would like to get involved, .

Learn more about the Minka Advisory Board's work in creating the "Five Domains of Humans Interacting with Technology" and the "Activity Plan."

What the Minka Advisory Board Loves about Technology

Members of the Minka Advisory Board recently discussed their feelings about technology.

Their answers to the question, "What do you love most about technology?" are depicted in the image right.

Contact Dr. Katie Ehlman


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