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Designing for Senior Living with the Wellness Revolution in Mind

Posted on November 9, 2018 by Cynthia Warner

Desk and kitchen area in an senior living community. Items were all purchased and procured by Warner Design Associates.

 

Are you aware of the wellness revolution in senior living? If so, you know that it is here to stay, and is growing every day. There is a heavy focus on building technology capabilities into community infrastructures, as well as focusing on the main components of wellness: the emotional, mental, physical, social and spiritual. Creating an environment where residents to feel at home in their community is the foundation that allows them to focus on their wellness in every aspect. When residents can relax in their communities and stay up to date on technology trends, it impacts their overall mental and social wellness.

Technology that keeps wellness in mind will allow for a completely customized experience that caters to the specific needs of a resident, deepening on age, mobility, and needs. Once the technological backbone is incorporated throughout the community, staff and residents will be able to access technology anywhere, and the wellness technology possibilities are endless. New technologies are delivering health, safety, and entertainment to seniors, with endlessly creative applications.

Here’s how you can use technology and wellness to your senior living design.

  • LED lighting can be used beyond just saving energy: for instance, to promote healthy sleep patterns and reduce anxiety by aligning lamp color temperature with residents’ circadian rhythms.
  • Adding smartboards, ipads, and tablets into the design of common areas is becoming increasingly popular. “Many older adults have enthusiastically adopted technology to keep up with the times as well as their old acquaintances and younger family members. Grandparents are becoming proficient in Facebook and Skype — and are liking it! Technology has become a healthy emotional outlet, and word of its benefits has spread like wildfire among the elderly” says APlaceForMom.
  • Including “Wi-Fi certified” home and active adult community designs that allow residents to control their lights, front door locks, and thermostats by talking to Amazon Alexa are becoming increasingly common in delivering health and safety in seniors.
  • Common spaces will need to accommodate the residents and members of the surrounding community. Senior communities will become more outward-looking, and these spaces will need to appeal to multiple generations.
  • Stick to natural patterns with some pop of color. Adding more natural patterns and color blocking, along with firm texture it promotes healing by incorporating nature in a more scientific way to urban environments. Keep in mind that the aging eye will always cast a yellow tint, so make sure to plan colors accordingly!

The demand for wellness in senior design is not going to change anytime soon. With the impending wave of baby boomers, it will only increase these demands. It’s important to stay up to date on the technology and wellness trends for the benefits of businesses and the future of their residents.

We hope this helps you understand the first steps when designing for senior living with wellness in mind. If you have any questions on interior design for senior living, don’t hesitate to reach out!