There are so many nuances to designing a senior living residence, complex or nursing home for a senior living community. The care residents will need as they age, their interests, desires, the list of variables goes on and on.
There is one element of your design that may go unnoticed in a sense. Obviously, by the title we are talking about the natural elements. Putting together a place that the community can enjoy all year round will draw attention to your design as well as keep this very special part of society happy in their golden years.
Here are a few tips to designing for seniors in all four seasons of the year.
Capitalize On Fall
The fall (in most areas of the U.S.) is full of brisk, yet enjoyable days of the year. Leaves are turning and, for many, it’s a happy time before deepest darkest winter rolls in to town. Depending on where you are there are a few ways to design for this time of year. Here’s one to get you thinking.
Tip: Outdoor fun with games. Design the area with natural wind barriers so it doesn’t get too chilly and it will be used more than in the summer.
Bundle Up During Winter
Winter is the no-go zone for the elderly. It’s too cold and too dangerous to get out in harsh conditions. These setbacks obviously mean the use of different design elements, but there is one you may not have thought about.
Tip: Winter time usually causes more complaints about minor aches and pains. Blame on inactivity or the cold weather, but arthritis and other problems tend to flare up. Using fixtures that make it easier to get around (kind of like our Ultralatch) will help residents feel more independent.
(If you’re interested in the UltraLatch, you can find a list of dealers here.)
Be Considerate During Spring
Spring is rainy, but beautiful. Members of the community will want to enjoy it, but medical conditions and other restraints may make the wetness an issue. Building large sitting areas with big windows will help, but you could go a step above.
Tip: Design covered walkways and breezeways to give people either the ability or (at least) the illusion of being outside to enjoy the spring.
Go All Out in the Summer
The elderly tend to skew naturally colder than most able-bodied adults. There are several medical reasons for this, but we’re no doctors. What we can tell you is to make sure your ready for an outdoor party for most of the summer.
Tip: There are obvious places where the summer is extremely hot and humid. This could be a cue for you to take the party indoors, or design shady areas to curb the heat.