SHN Awards: Design Trends that will Dominate the Future of Senior Living

It’s more important than ever for communities to be on the cutting edge of design. Gain insight from award-winning experts on the latest trends in architecture and design in this Q&A series leading up to the 2015 Senior Housing News Design & Architecture Awards exclusively sponsored by Kwalu

SHN recently spoke with Kevin Madalinski, senior project manager for Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, which was awarded the 2014 Senior Housing News Design & Architecture Award for Repositioning for its work on Lutheran Home/My Rehab Center, located in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

SHN: What are the biggest trends you expect to see in senior housing design and architecture in the next five years? 


KM: In the next five years, we fully expect to see the following trends really take hold and dominate in regard to senior housing design and architecture:

      1. An influx of short-term rehabilitation environments
      2. The replacement of skilled nursing care with assisted living
      3. An increase of “Aging in Place” models
      4. A strong movement toward the renovation of facilities versus new design and construction

SHN: What design elements are today’s communities lacking that they need to have? 

KM: Through our constant interactions with senior living providers and in reviewing current senior housing communities, we’ve identified a few design areas that seemed to be lacking on a consistent basis. Those areas are:

      1. Elements of hospitality, which include having a variety of dining options and models, social spaces, and a wellness/fitness/recreational component
      2. Connections to the outdoors
      3. The ability and flexibility to quickly adapt (both systems and operations) to the continual evolution in technology

SHN: What are the top three changes you have seen in senior housing design and architecture in the last year?

KM: From our perspective, there have been a number of changes in the past year in senior housing design and architecture. Our top three would be:

      1. More of a focus on aging in place
      2. An emphasis on short-term rehabilitation
      3. A demand for higher-quality environments

SHN: What kind of recognition did your company receive after accepting the award for Best of Repositioning Design in 2014?

KM: Following our selection as the 2014 Best Senior Living Repositioning Award winner, Senior Housing News did a nice job of promoting our project. SHN issued a press release and provided us with a “winner’s badge” for us to use in our marketing materials and website.

In addition, they conducted an extension interview with key members of our project team for an in-depth article about our project, My Rehab Center. We received congratulations from a number of organizations that had seen the article on the SHN website. In fact, one such significant Midwest senior living provider contacted us to begin a dialogue regarding our experience and capabilities and inquire about touring My Rehab Center.

SHN: Why apply for the 2015 SHN Awards?

KM: Senior Housing News has quickly become one of the top-tier resources for the latest in the world of senior living, as is evident by its impressive readership. Knowing that more than 10,000 senior housing professionals nationally receive insight and updates daily from Senior Housing News – as well as award results – was a significant incentive to apply for the 2014 Senior Housing News Awards.

When the opportunity to apply presented itself, our decision was an easy one. Being able to promote our project as an SHN Award winner is a distinction we are quite proud of and one that we feel carries a great deal of weight within the industry. I would strongly encourage anyone who can to apply for the 2015 SHN Awards.


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