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Design Input From Your Residents: Why It’s a Great Idea

Posted on June 8, 2017 by Mark Warner

senior woman sitting outside

Residents today are not like the residents of retirement homes of the past.  Today’s Baby Boomers have revolutionized and redefined every facet of modern American society and they have no intention of slowing down, even in their golden years.  Today’s senior living communities bear little resemblance to those facilities of yesteryear.  Today’s communities are often filled with vibrant residents, luxurious amenities, and have a resort-like atmosphere.  The senior generation of the modern era has worked hard to achieve their success and is not willing to accept any less than what they deserve from their new surroundings.

Making the choice to resettle into a senior living community can be an exciting time for many retirees.  Touring the communities feels like strolling the grounds of a lovely new neighborhood. The beautifully appointed facilities and activities that abound make the prospect of spending their retirement in such a community very inviting.  But there can be too much of a good thing.­­

The Boomers have always prided themselves on their groundbreaking ways, reveled in their uniqueness, and celebrated their ever-growing achievements.  Why should their home for their golden years not fit their persona?  The tasteful and lovely décor of today’s senior living communities is hugely appealing, evoking wonderful feelings of luxury, calm, even adventure.  But what happens when these rule breakers and achievers are told that there will be a renovation and redesign of their home, without their feedback? The residents may not feel heard or cared for, which may cause frustration and agitation; the operator may mistakenly assume what the resident’s want, and without the direct insight may complete a design project that “misses the mark” in the residents’ eyes; and new and potential residents are likely to feel pigeon-holed if not given a say in the design of their new homes.

An emerging trend in the senior living industry is helping alleviate the anxiety that can be caused when current and potential residents understand a renovation and re-design may be underway. By actively including residents in the interior design process, senior living communities can allow them to retain a sense of independence, control, and personalization.  Creating a space that is theirs creates a truly unique home that is designed just for them. And after all, isn’t creating a true home what modern senior living communities are all about?