Category Archives: Assisted Living

Focus on Wellness in Senior Living Communities

Senior wellness programs improve quality of life

Wellness, as described by the National Wellness Institute, is an active process through which people make health and lifestyle choices toward a better life. For those who strive to improve their quality of life, they reduce their dependency on others and thrive from care tailored to their unique medical and non-medical needs.

That’s why senior wellness programs, especially in long-term senior living communities, are becoming more popular. Wellness programs offer residents opportunities to be more social, be active and promote a healthy lifestyle within the community for a better quality of life. Wellness programs have been known to help with overall well-being. Issues like depression, reduced mobility, lack of independence, safety concerns, and age-specific health issues can be addressed through senior wellness programs.

Many long-term care senior living facilities are recognizing these benefits and are beginning to offer a variety of wellness programs including nutrition, exercise classes and other mindfulness activities.

Wellness trends in senior living communities

Let’s take a look at the latest wellness trends that long-term care facilities are adding to their communities.

  • Aquatic pools: Swimming is an ideal workout for the elderly, mainly because of low impact exercise has a low risk of injury. Water exercises benefit all muscle groups in the body for a complete workout for seniors. Pools offer excellent walking lanes as well.
  • Therapy pools: Typically, therapy pools offer a warm-water experience and can help with lowering heart rate, blood pressure and stress. Aqua yoga and Pilates classes are hot trends in therapy pools.
  • Open exercise space: Staying active longer in life shows to improve strength, balance and ability to perform activities of daily living and maintain a healthy and long-lived life. Open multipurpose spaces, with hideaway storage for equipment to help reduce clutter can make the environment attractive, yet practical. Group low-impact aerobics, yoga and other classes designed for seniors are ideal to host in this space.
  • Nutrition programs: More long-term care facilities are focusing on nutrition programs as part of their overall commitment to wellness. Multi-purpose spaces are a great area for nutrition classes, where group discussions and education for proper senior nutrition in mind: lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and plenty of opportunities for hydration.
  • Meditation rooms: Setting aside places for guided, or self-lead, meditation can help residents focus on mindfulness. A study in Journal of Social Behavior and Personality reportedly found that seniors who practiced meditation had significantly fewer hospitalizations. Other benefits of mindfulness include decreases in physical pain, reduced stress, and increases in relaxation, energy, self-esteem and even cognitive functioning.

Get the local community involved

Wellness programs do not have to be limited to your residents. Opening the space for the public to participate in wellness programs can be a great way for residents in long-term care facilities to help connect with the local community socially. Welcoming the public in this way also introduces your facility to the community so they can get to know you before they need you.

How to start a wellness programs for seniors in long-term care

Preventative programs, like senior wellness programs, are a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle for a better quality of life. Over time, wellness programs will move from a trend to the norm for long-term care senior living facilities. Ask us about how to implement spaces for wellness programs into your current campus or a new facility. Call (920) 969-9344 for a free consultation.

Person-Centered Care for Dementia

 

 

What we can learn from Hogeweyk and other unique care villages

Hogeweyk, a village in the Netherlands made up of seniors living with dementia and their caretakers, was developed in 2009 after a nearly 20-year stint as a traditional nursing home. The concept captures attention in our industry for its innovative approach to caring for people with memory loss. Since Hogeweyk’s inception, other similar villages followed the unique design, both in the United States and abroad. Much of Hogeweyk’s design features a host of activities that focus on individual tastes—a part of what we have now come to know as person-centered care for dementia.

If you haven’t heard about Hogeweyk, it’s a village of 23 homes, a grocery store, entertainment venues and parklike spaces. While a resident can shop in the store or even buy a beer at a pub, for those with advanced dementia, the currency they use is fake. But, to them, the experience of living in this village is very real.

Rising needs for memory care

As we reported in our “Memory Care Facility Design” blog last March, as baby boomers age, we can expect a significant uptick in the need for memory care. The industry is already responding, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care (NIC). The NIC says that at the end of 2015, the industry added more than 7,000 memory care units in 2015 alone, a 7.4 percent increase. At the end of 2015, 12,200 memory care units were under construction.

It may come as no surprise, then, that those who are preparing for an influx of residents needing memory care look to unique practices for ideas on how to provide the best care to this population. That’s where person-centered care for dementia finds success.

Memory care trends point to person-centered care

Very few in the industry have the financial ability to build a village, but the feeling of inclusion and independence is something that can be replicated. Although more than 150 people live in the village, it remains a great example of person-centered care. Studies have shown that in person-centered care, dementia patients respond positively to participating in activities they personally enjoy, having a say in their care and living in a homelike environment.

LeadingAge discussed some ways members are making personal connections—and therefore focusing on the individual—in memory care. Here are just a few of the ideas:

  • A senior living community in Louisville, Ky., learns the life story of residents before they enter care. Residents are paired with a “best friend,” who helps make connections to their life before they entered a senior living community.
  • This same facility uses these life stories to find ways to calm agitated residents. A former lawyer is given a legal brief to read when he becomes upset; a former baker is given flour to work with, as if to make biscuits.
  • Many communities find other ways for residents to participate in activities that were once a big part of their lives. For example, pianists and singers entertain or lead religious service hymns.

It’s important to also note that person-centered care focuses as much on what individuals don’t like to do. One Texas administrator pointed to the popular activity of bingo as an example of understanding individual tastes, “Some people absolutely hate the number calling … and the repetitiveness. Why are you going to put someone in that position if it’s something that they don’t tolerate?”

Ask us how we can help

As you can see, you don’t need to build an entire village to find ways to implement person-centered care for dementia. But, you will need to find ways—inside and outside of your facility—to accommodate residents’ favored activities. Nature lovers will appreciate courtyards and walking trails. Artists may want a quiet, well-lit area to practice their craft.

If you are considering remodeling your community to accommodate memory care patients or are thinking about adding a memory care unit to your current facility, give us a call. Our process begins with a master plan that includes a market analysis. For your free consultation, contact Terry McLaughlin at 920-969-9344.

Senior Living Construction Creativity & Expertise

Working with seniors and persons in assisted living requires not only compassion and heart, but laser focus on making residents’ lives as vibrant as possible. As experts in the design and construction of senior living and assisted living facilities, we at Community Living Solutions, LLC (CLS) strive to create senior living communities that are highly functional and provide an attractive and uplifting place to live.

We wanted to share a few former senior living construction renovation projects that quickly convey our ability to create beautiful senior living spaces –  Attic Angel Rehab and Assisted Living, a senior living facility located in southern Wisconsin; St. Paul Elder Services Rehab Center and Memory Care facility in Kaukauna, Wis.; and Grace Lutheran Foundation Skilled Nursing Facility in Altoona, Wis. Each senior housing construction project we take presents its own set of challenges, yet we overcame obstacles with creativity, expertise and the utmost professionalism.

Attic Angel Rehab Center and Assisted Living Addition and Renovations

The Attic Angel Rehab Center and Assisted Living renovations included 54,000 square feet of additional space, resulting in 14 private beds dedicated to short-term rehabilitation residents and 24 apartments dedicated to residential assisted living. The facility is in the city of Middleton and is surrounded by residential neighborhoods. Because there was little space to build out, this senior housing construction project required us to think creatively about expanding inside the existing facility footprint without negatively affecting existing resident rooms and apartments. Our solution was to create a central courtyard that provided secure outdoor space for residents to enjoy, while still retaining and maximizing outdoor views.

It was important to the Attic Angel staff that we keep the neighbors satisfied during and post construction efforts.

“The new three-story addition includes a flat roof design solution that is architecturally similar with the existing building’s pitched roof, but minimizes the height impact for the nearby neighbors.” says Duane Helwig, Vice President of Design.

St. Paul Elder Services Rehab Center and Memory Care Addition

The St. Paul Elder Services Rehab Center and Memory Care senior living construction project required CLS to create 24 private residence suites in the memory care unit and 13 private suites in the skilled nursing rehabilitation center.

St Paul Elder Services, Inc. resembled more of a nursing home medical facility, rather than a center with home-like senior living design. CLS went right to work by eliminating the existing nursing station and created a warm hearth area where residents can gather for social activities. The facility site was confined by residential properties on either side and had a significant external grade.

“We were able to build the requested addition on the existing site and utilized the external land grade to our advantage to create an additional community space in the basement of the facility,” said, Tom Lemkuil, Senior Architect and Partner.

Other areas we also renovated:

  • Chapel space expansion
  • Dining room updates and innovations
  • Modern porte cochère or a covered entrance for vehicles to pass to the courtyard

Read More about the St. Paul’s Elder Services project

Grace Lutheran Foundation Skilled Nursing Facility

Community Living Solutions was entrusted with the Grace Lutheran Foundation Skilled Nursing Facility senior living construction project. This effort included building an 85,110-square-foot replacement nursing facility with 48 short-term care beds and a 50-bed long-term care facility. CLS created a warm and inviting environment supporting health, wellness and entertainment to meet the spiritual and social needs of the community. The new construction included formal and informal dining areas, state of-the-art therapy, wellness and rehabilitation suite, commons area for community gatherings, chapel, gift shop and salon. To further complement the appearance, we used a variety of colors and building materials to create an amazing residential assisted living space.

New senior living construction or existing renovation?

Whether you are building a new senior living facility or need renovations on an existing facility, we have the expertise to meet your business goals. Community Living Solutions takes great pride in its ability to bring an attractive array of senior living design options that are guided by our compassion for resident care.

If you are looking to update your senior living facility or if you’d like to build a new facility, contact us for a free consultation or, call Terry McLaughlin at 920-969-9344.

Future-Proof Senior Living Design with Multi-Purpose Spaces

Why building community is an ever-lasting assisted living design trend

It’s no secret that baby boomers are completely redefining active aging. This generation’s impact on the industry isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. Last year the population of U.S. residents over the age of 65 reached 50 million for the first time, and is expected to peak over 71 million in 2050. Unfortunately, this growing population does not equal an instant boon for senior living communities. The senior living market is competitive, and many mature adults are electing to stay in their homes as long as possible.

For those who are seeking assisted living facilities or senior living communities, they are looking for community, amenities, high-level care and customer service. Savvy communities will find ways to meet today’s senior living design needs while anticipating tomorrow’s trends. Thoughtfully planned multi-purpose spaces offer several ways for facilities to stay competitive in a dynamic and ever-evolving market.

Multi-use spaces benefit senior care

Baby boomers will continue to impact the industry; multi-purpose spaces are just one effect of their influence. Multi-use spaces are a good solution for today’s desired coffee bistro while simultaneously meeting the need for fitness classes, meditation sessions and community events. Plus, any space that builds strong community will serve double or even triple duty by appealing to current and potential residents while improving their overall health and increasing the environment’s vibrancy.

Multi-purpose spaces also increase senior care facilities’ sustainability by accommodating a variety of perhaps unknown amenities for years to come. Communities that thoughtfully integrate the right multi-use spaces can often save by using less land for new construction or expansion.

Senior living design: Best practices for multi-purpose spaces

When reconfiguring existing space or building using new senior living design, consider all the potential uses a space could be. Design tools are available to help a space convert from a classroom to dining area to theater and more. Identifying the potential uses for a space helps Community Living Solutions recommend flooring, lighting and even acoustic options to help a room transition with ease.

Focusing on how a room will be used today and might be used in the future is also a great way to ensure maximum versatility. Whether you are looking at multi-purpose spaces or even resident rooms, build with flexibility so that rooms can be converted for higher or lower care options when market demand shifts.

Even if your facility is not considering new construction, you can still use multi-purpose space best practices. iAdvance Senior Care suggests reconfiguring residential areas to create neighborhoods within the larger community. To ensure security while also encouraging community, these residential areas can be set up to progress from public to private space. This strategy can be especially helpful for memory care units where both community and security are high priorities.

Some facilities are also integrating the community at large into their resident communities, such as offering daycare. Childcare provides intergenerational connectedness that benefits residents and children alike while providing an additional facility income stream. Not all facilities will add a daycare, but multi-use spaces can be used to host other intergenerational activities. Here are just a few forms of events and gatherings that could be hosted in a multi-purpose space.

  • Partner with a local daycare or preschool for a monthly story hour.
  • Invite children’s service organizations (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or 4-H) to host a monthly birthday party for residents or to share technology tips.
  • Use the space to host external community meetings each month to help residents stay connected to the civic happenings in your city. The Rotary and Lions or local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association or AARP are all great examples.

No matter what spaces your community converts to serve multiple purposes, design aesthetics should stay timeless. Maintain a neutral color palette with minimal patterns. Natural textures can keep the design interesting without relying on patterns or colors that may become dated.

Curious about how your senior care community may benefit from multi-purpose spaces? Connect with our team for a free senior living design consultation. Simply contact us via the website or call Terry McLaughlin at 920-969-9344.

St. Joseph Residence Senior Living Construction Project

Renovations now underway in New London

Community Living Solutions broke ground recently on facility updates to St. Joseph Residence, a senior living community that has served the New London area for 50 years. The senior living construction project involves renovating St. Joseph’s skilled nursing facility and adding a new short-term rehabilitation area.

Project details

The senior living design divides the current facility into smaller communities and provides residents with private rooms and bathrooms. It also features:

  • A 10-bed short-term rehabilitation addition with a new inpatient/outpatient therapy center.
  • A renovated building wing that houses the rehab area with 20 private rooms.
  • A 30-bed long-term care unit. This unit, with a new addition of six beds and a business strategy to downsize the number of licensed beds, will allow the majority of residents to have private rooms.
  • A 6-bed CBRF assisted living memory care addition. This addition, coupled with 18 beds in a renovated area of the existing building, will result in a 24-bed memory care assisted living facility. This allows St. Joseph to meet an unfilled need for dementia and Alzheimer’s care in the community.

In designing the facility, CLS’ goal was to provide residents with a home-like, family atmosphere that would enhance their quality of life.

“This senior living construction project was designed with the future in mind,” said Vice President of Design Duane Helwig. “As baby boomers choose a senior living community for their parents—and eventually for themselves—they will be looking for a facility that offers opportunities for engagement and socialization along with the privacy of their own personal space. We believe we have achieved that for St. Joseph residents and their families.”

Construction is expected to be completed in June 2018.

Are you planning a building renovation or addition?

If you are considering a senior living construction project, such as a building expansion, renovation or campus repositioning, we can help you with every step, include master planning and architectural design. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.