Longevity: Architecture for Senior and Assisted Living
The final chapters of life are the most significant, in our opinion, and, as a result, we believe that the design of senior housing must evolve to meet today’s challenges while leveraging innovative solutions to offer a customized, quality lifestyle for the retired inhabitant.
Based on our recent research regarding Senior Living Facilities/Communities, the areas that would require improving is providing better spaces for staff, both as a way to attract and retain talent, and to also motivate them to provide top-quality care. Traditionally, the spaces that are dedicated to the staff have been given a low priority in all types of seniors housing communities. Many of these Senior Living Facilities/Communities have concluded that the size of assisted living apartments should be no smaller than their smallest independent living apartment.
Ultimately, good design allows staff to work more efficiently and comfortably, including better workstations, storage and housekeeping spaces adjacent to where they are needed, and well-equipped maintenance shops. Also, the staff need better break and relaxation spaces with comfortable seating, kitchenette, restrooms, windows and access to the outdoors.
Moreover, Senior Living Facilities/Communities need to incorporate wellness-enhancing amenities, such as walking trails, spas, and healthy eating, as well as elements of biophilic design through living walls, water features, and natural textures.
And finally, as it is one of the focuses of our practice, we believe that these types of facilities must be designed with circulation and movement in-mind. The way the inhabitants and staff of these facilities circulate within the spaces should be taken into consideration, resulting in an architecture that is customized for an enjoyable final chapter in life.