Senior Living Communities Support Life-long Wellness

As we continue to observe the lasting impacts of COVID-19, Senior Living remains one of the most effected industries. Promoting the wellness of residents remains at the forefront of design for senior living communities both in the space itself and day-to-day operations. Demonstrating to potential residents and families the priority placed on wellness will remain critical as occupancy recovers. Our design professionals have seen the following trends in design for senior living communities grow in recent years, and we expect this growth to continue in a post-pandemic world.  

Indoor and Outdoor Spaces 

Access to beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces is more than a luxury feature. Studies show “convenient and frequent active and passive engagement with nature impacts the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of older people.” Urban life is traditionally void of exposure to natural features, and even small features can greatly impact quality of life for residents.  

In communities whose wellbeing is of the utmost importance, these benefits cannot be overstated. Green spaces, well-maintained walking paths and community gardening lots are great opportunities for senior residents to engage in safe and fulfilling outdoor play. Considerations such as ADA Accessibility and a variety of seats and benches help make these spaces accessible for all. For AHBL Landscape Architects, equal access is a critical component of green space design, at the forefront of the design process. Inclusive design is critical for all communities, but especially for Senior Living.   

Integrated Health Care Services 

In order to expand access to healthcare for residents, many communities have integrated on-site clinics to treat daily ailments and more urgent concerns.  

AHBL Engineers have first-hand experience in the overlap between healthcare facilities and senior living communities and understand the importance of providing local services to senior residents. One such  project is the Community Living Center for the Department of Veteran Affairs, designed in collaboration with TCF Architecture. This project features assisted living facilities in a home-like atmosphere with ample greenspace and sustainable features to promote access to medical care and overall wellbeing.  

Bringing it All Together 

The structural design for the Community Living Center was required to meet multiple building codes and include special considerations to serve the population. A gentle curve and carefully articulated lake views add intrigue and dimension to the single-story hallway. AHBL Civil Engineers worked closely with the team to incorporate site work with the design; stormwater runoff from the parking lot flows into raingardens for treatment before infiltrating soils.  

It is often in the collaboration of an interdisciplinary team that these unique features really come together. Another interdisciplinary project that required creativity and collaboration is the healthcare addition for the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation. The project began in August, with the goal to hit substantial completion by the end of the year. Through collaboration, the design team was able to hit that goal. Learn more about the project and expedited delivery.  

These and other wellness features will continue to grow in popularity as potential residents and their families envision a safe and healthy life for their loved ones.  

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