The Importance of Outdoor Living Spaces in Independent Living Communities
Posted on October 1, 2016 by Cynthia Warner
Today, senior living environments are primarily focused on providing residents with a homelike feel. It’s important to make individuals feel comfortable by offering a welcoming, hospitable environment that features a range of amenities and specialty care services, and outdoor living spaces have become a key factor in achieving that. Due to this, senior living designers and architects are constantly innovating both inside and outside the facility to ensure the highest quality living space.
At Warner Design Associates, we pride ourselves on being inventive while maintaining functionality. This is especially important when designing an outdoor space, which should be safe, purposeful and enjoyable since they can provide many benefits to residents.
Below are a few primary reasons demonstrating the importance of outdoor living spaces in independent living communities.
Helps with Memory Care
Community gardens can help residents feel more relaxed, stimulate activity, and increase engagement. Some studies are even suggesting that experiencing outdoor spaces may lead to a slowing of dementia or small improvements in memory function.
Gardens or greenhouses can create a sense of routine or normalcy for many residents. From planting flowers to picking vegetables to watching things grow, it makes residents feel like they are a part of something.
Increases Social Interaction
Outdoor environments can also increase social interaction amongst residents by providing a meeting spot for when friends and family come to visit. The design of the garden can also help stimulate conversations in certain areas. For example, furniture placement can signal how people want to interact in a garden. It’s important to make some chairs portable, place some chairs together for groups or bigger gatherings, and then separate some chairs for residents that prefer to be alone.
Offers Therapeutic Benefits
Natural environments are more than just visually appealing. A visit to the garden can help residents lower blood pressure, increase Vitamin D, improve sleep, and benefit stability. Creating a garden with saturated hues like orange, reds, and yellows can not only be seen better by aging eyes but those hues can also stimulate memory.
Getting natural sunlight and daily exposure outdoors can benefit one’s sleep. Just 30 minutes of daylight exposure is known to help regulate the body’s circadian rhythm which contributes to a more regular sleep schedule.
At Warner Design Associates, we understand the benefits that an outdoor living space can provide an independent living community. We strive to incorporate these modern trends and ensure both comfort and functionality when developing our outdoor living spaces. View examples in our portfolio.