Top Senior Living Design Trends for 2016

Given the rapid pace of innovations in senior housing design, it can be difficult for communities to prioritize and focus when building new spaces or completing renovations. Between establishing an environment where seniors can thrive and adhering to their distinct tastes—not to mention sticking to a budget, meeting codes and regulations and other challenges—the task indeed can be overwhelming and the stakes high.

“Communities today must provide amenities and interiors at a high level, or they risk having unhappy residents,” senior living interior design firm studioSIX5 President Dean Maddalena said in a prepared statement.

The Austin-based studioSIX5 team compiled its predictions for senior housing design in the year ahead. The top three may sound familiar—some of the newsworthy projects that Senior Housing News has highlighted incorporate these features.

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1. Adaptable Designs

Planning ahead when developing different rooms is a must to ensure years of adaptive use with minimum renovations necessary down the road. Whereas activity rooms were once dispersed throughout a community, studioSIX5 believes there will be a shift to incorporate spaces that can easily be modified to accommodate various activities.

Example: Heritage Communities

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2. Boutique Amenities

Today’s senior is looking for community’s to go above and beyond the basics when it comes to daily service offerings. Largely, this means diversifying dining options and decor in everything from hours food is served to the ambiance created in a specific restaurant space.

Example: The Clare 

3. Community-Centric Spaces

The separation of a senior living facility and its surrounding community is a thing of the past. Now, more and more public services are being offered within senior living itself, and businesses can operate individually within a senior housing community to serve both residents and the general public alike.

Example: Aegis on Madison

According to studioSIX5, other design trends to keep in mind for the year ahead include:

  • Biophilic design and natural colors
  • Emphasis on wellness
  • Resort-style, short-term rehab
  • More 55+ restricted housing
  • Technology integration
  • Extensive LED lighting
  • Incorporation of modular carpet tiles
Some of these trends have been around for years, with Indiana-based post-acute developer Mainstreet consistently pursuing high-end rehab and seemingly every provider upping its tech game. But others are less obvious, like the idea of biophilic design, which denotes the inclusion of natural elements within a space, or a return to modular carpet tiles for convenience and cost efficiency thanks to quality improvements.
 
“The goal is to enhance each resident’s daily living environment in ways they may not even know they need,” Maddalena said.

Written by Kourtney Liepelt

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