The pandemic accelerates new design trends for senior living environments, Improving wellness outcomes for the elderly, refining indoor air quality, access to Nature, circadian lighting, and outdoor wellness activities. WELL Building certified is not just a fancy pedigree trend but a design consequence that can make a difference in surviving the virus or catching the flu.
Healing Design forecast ten trends in the design for senior living environments:
1. A new care model is emerging from the traditional care model focusing on shelter, food, and physical care to a human-centered model embracing the whole person, the mind, body, and spirit.
2. Human Engagement is a trend based on relationships and human connections which strengthen bonds between generations, family, community, and caregivers
3. Place of Meaning which provides value, social engagement, and entertainment.
4. Design interventions that target action-based outcomes such as reminiscence and art therapy.
5. Home Like environments that provide safe places with the familiar comforts of home
6. Artful furnishings provide style, comfort, ergonomics, and dignity with the move away from the institutional setting.
7. Light and Color trending to play a critical role in safety, as well as delights the spirit.
8. Technology Innovation can contribute to safe touchless equipment and materials as well as environments of fun and entertainment.
9. Access to Nature to provide the nature connection and enrich seniors' lives from garden activities, dining al fresco, pet therapy, balconies, and views of outdoor spaces.
Sensory Engagement to provide a visceral and emotional connection. Pleasure can be 1. activated through the senses, such as aromatherapy, visual cueing, and music therapy.
These trends can help fill gaps in our approach to senior communities' design, housing, memory care villages, and those living in their own homes. These emerging trends offer hope, dignity, happiness, and innovation that is affordable and healthy.