There has been a change in how we think about senior living over the past 10 years. The aging baby boomer generation is influencing this change. It’s predicted that in the next several years there will be more people over 65 than children. As the baby boomers age, more and more are looking to make the move to a senior living community. This group of people is more active than in past generations and holds greater expectations of their living experience. Because they are planning ahead, the process of selecting their retirement community is more well thought out and thorough. Research has shown that up to 5 communities will be visited before making the final decision. Their new home must check all the boxes. Updated furniture and finishes can ensure a good first impression is made and boost the marketability of any community, whether it’s a new construction or an established facility.
The following should be considered when designing a senior living community:
- Finishes should look like home, incorporating residential-type finishes with senior living durability. Vibrant, fresh, approachable spaces that bring people together and foster a sense of community.
- Flexible gathering areas that draw residents from their rooms and can accommodate larger groups when necessary. Spots for crafts, games, and other activities that promote socialization are amenities today’s seniors are looking for. A sense of community ranks highly with today’s seniors. Chairs that can stack and tables for crafts and puzzles that fold for storage enhance the flexibility and function.
- Connection to the outdoors. Natural light, plants, and large-scale artwork that depicts views of nature foster that important connection with nature for residents who aren’t able to get out as easily.
- Wellness-focused spaces promoting engagement and activity.
- The formal dining room is being revamped to add flexibility, better serving the needs of the residents. A more modern dining space provides a place to gather with friends for a cup of coffee or a casual chat. This area has become the social hub, and those social connections are crucial to maintaining cognitive function and overall well-being.
- Staff attraction and retention is an important consideration as well. Providing a comfortable place for staff to work, and as a recharge, should be planned for.
Have a project in mind? We would love to hear about it! r.o.i. Design provides full-service design and FF&E services. We have access to numerous resources that can provide beautiful and functional furnishings for all budgets. Additionally, we will consult with you on space planning and allocation to meet the changing needs of today’s senior living residents. We will also help balance input from ownership, management, and staff when designing the space and furnishings.