How Interior Design Can Help With Socialization in Senior Living
Posted on February 25, 2019 by Cynthia Warner
Moving can be a big change for anyone. For seniors, moving from one’s own home to a senior living community can be especially challenging and full of emotions. But creating meaningful, everyday experiences (such as saying hello to neighbors, or keeping in touch with family and friends) and staying active around the home play a significant role in easing the transition.
One’s new living space can feel unknown and strange to residents when first moving in. To help with this process, we use interior design techniques to encourage socialization and activity, ultimately helping seniors feel part of their new community.
Here are four ways to increase socialization in senior living communities.
Community spaces can help create areas to promote inclusivity and communication for residents. For example, a library, or coffee shop, make great spaces for residents to socialize in a normal, “everyday” way. Just like at a neighborhood library or coffee shop, it’s easy to bump into friends or strike up conversations with new ones. These spaces also make a great setting for group events and get-togethers. Not only that, but “going to the coffee shop” also provides a sense of routine and freedom – which helps normalize the transition process.
Creative spaces give residents a chance to engage with each other in ways that they might not otherwise. For example, playing games or participating in an art class together provides a common ground and can make a great conversation starter. (And provides content to continue talking about in days to come.) Many of us grow up doing crafts or playing games and continuing it in your senior living community encourages socialization, increases activity, and allows seniors to thrive. Try adding a well-appointed game or art room to allow your residents these benefits.
A growing part of interior design for senior living communities is adding in technology spaces whenever available. Do you have a computer or technology room in your community, or are planning one in your new build? Enhance your residents’ connections with friends & family via technology by creating a computer or technology room. Not only will they have extra access to others, but technology is a great activity for cognitive skills.
As we’ve written about before, the creation of outdoor “destinations” with amenities spaces is becoming more and more popular to increase socialization in seniors. Having a garden, or outdoor exercise area is essential in keeping seniors active as well as socialize with one another. Who doesn’t love a stroll alone or with friends in the beautiful outdoors? We can work with your team to design aesthetically pleasing outdoor/garden space for residents to relax.
Interested in more ways to increase socialization in your senior living community? Feel free to reach out to discuss how we may be able to bring strategic interior design to your community!