Brenda Brady Design LLC
By 2030 the number of United States adults age 50 and older will grow to 132 million. This is up 70% from 2000!!!! This rise is due to the massive baby boomer generation climbing in age AND a greater longevity among older Americans.
Younger boomers who are now in their 50's are of special concern, since they are less financially secure than generations past - Thanks in part to the Great Recession.
More affordable, and suitable rental housing is needed to address the needs of the aging population. Communities need to explore efficient ways to support aging Americans. Services also include transportation systems and rezoning for accommodation of residents who may want to downsize but stay in their town.
We need to address our future senior housing needs!
Our growing priority of interior design in healthcare and senior living facilities it to create comfortable environments. They feel more home like than institutional.
I use color for way finding in all of my senior facilities. It is so much easier ( for any of us!) to find a location by associating a color. For example, first floor is blue accent paint, blue furniture in the living room, blue paint on the stairwell door wall. This alerts you to the floor you are on and it is also convenient for guests.
Another good use of color is to make transitions in hallways - from one part of the clinic to another or from assisted living to healthcare.
Finally my favorite way to use color in senior facilities is in the restrooms. Who doesn't want to look at a splash of color in their public restrooms? Too often they are boring white or beige.
Have fun with color - and know that seniors like color too!
In the past an Assisted Living unit was a very small apartment with no kitchen/dining and a tiny living area and bedroom/ bathroom. In a recent Assisted living project that we completed, the kitchen was good sized with a microwave, sink and refrigerator.(see attached photo) Not unlike some very small senior living apartments! The only thing missing is a stove / oven!
It will become harder to draw lines between assisted and independent as we move forward. Therefore, our interior designs should be flexible in what a tenant of assisted living can do. Perhaps the living and dining room area should be larger so that they can entertain. Maybe there should be more privacy in the bedroom vs. the living room. Will buildings that were built 10 years ago need to revisit and remodel their units for seniors?
Acuity needs will have to be addressed for each individual and perhaps there will be a new standard of assisted living in the very near future!
Brenda L. Brady, ASID is a commercial interior designer with over 20 years of expertise in senior facilities, corporate offices, labs and healthcare design.