Developing a Senior Community that Cultivates Your Residents' Experience

When it comes to building a thriving senior living community, it takes more than just designing an attractive space. Seniors are looking to their community to promote an active and fulfilling lifestyle. A way to do this is to consider your resident’s experience when updating or designing a new community. We encourage our clients to study adaptive amenity spaces, find useful ways to incorporate technology and seek ways to reduce walking distances. Ultimately, these things will all create fulfilling experiences for residents and improve their quality of life.

Adaptable Amenity Spaces

Gone are the days when a single amenity space served one purpose in a community. We encourage developers, owners and operators to consider spaces that are adaptable to current and future amenity trends. For example, we included a multi-purpose wellness space into Park Creek Independent Living community. This space not only offers residents personal fitness options, it is also compatible for yoga, Pilates and physical therapy. 

We’ve recently worked with a client to convert a library into a café/bistro and business center. This created a new social hub for residents and added an additional dining option to the community. Adaptable amenities create valuable spaces, bring variety to residents and form lively communities.

Integrate Impactful Technology

Smart technology is changing the way communities interact and provide more attentive care to residents. Health monitoring or smart sensor systems can be used to send alerts when unexpected incidents occur. Studies have shown fewer weekly hospitalizations and significantly lower falls when these systems are integrated. In an independent setting, a resident’s desired temperature can be set as they enter and move through a space. Ultimately, systems like these create a sense of independence for residents and reduces stress on staff and families.

Trimming Residents' Travel Distances

Travel distances are an important factor a resident’s experience. Residents constantly evaluate how far they are from the dining room, their car (if they have one), their friends, the nearest bathroom and other spaces in the community. There are a myriad of other factors they may also consider but the overall goal is to keep everything as close and convenient as you can for your residents. As a result, communities are becoming tighter and denser. Having a design team that is comfortable with this puzzle and knowledgeable enough to guide you through the process is critical to a successful project.

Regardless of your community’s care type, it’s important you work with an experienced designer to think about the right approach to improving your residents' experiences.