Category Archives: Master Planning

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.

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.

Senior Care Technology: The Future is Now

 

Technology for Senior Living Communities

From robots to wearables, senior care technology is evolving before our eyes. While senior living communities struggle with recruiting a quality workforce, these technologies have some promising applications. The use of this technology and the data it gathers could reduce stress on a workforce already spread thin while providing valuable health and wellness information to caregivers.

We wanted to share just a few of the technologies we’ve read about that are already changing the way seniors live.

Health monitoring devices for elderly residents

As technology keeps pace with aging baby boomers, innovators are discovering that developing products specifically for the burgeoning elderly population is lucrative business. In fact, the senior care technology market is now estimated at nearly $280 million. The health monitoring devices already worn by people of all ages are giving way to products that not only monitor an individual’s health but can also collect data on specific conditions to provide life-saving feedback.

Here are just a few of the latest tech trends in health monitoring:

  • Smart clothes that monitor health and prompt medication reminders now make up the largest share of the smart textile industry. It’s expected this industry, which is fast replacing smart watches and other devices, will grow to $843 million by 2021. Among the smart clothes on the market are socks that diabetic patients wear to warn them of a pending risk of foot ulcers.
  • Smart eating utensils and cups now collect data on hand tremors, specifically for those who live with Parkinson’s disease. They also are programmed to remind users to drink plenty of water, for instance.
  • Finally, while many may worry that robots will replace people in jobs (or, in some cases, are replacing), robots may be a welcoming reality in senior care. It’s expected that the 65+ population will increase 181 percent by 2050 while those ages 15 to 65 will increase just 33 percent. That leaves no doubt senior living communities will need to find staffing alternatives. The answer may be robots that measure vital signs, answer basic health questions, send alerts about people who have fallen and provide general assistance to care staff.

Assistive technology for the elderly

Health monitoring devices for elderly residents are also doubling as assistive technology for the elderly.

For example, some smart clothes are equipped with sensors that send a vibration to the blind or visually impaired to warn them of upcoming obstacles—the closer the obstacle, the stronger the vibration. Clothing also can detect imbalance, warning people of a potential fall risk. Some wearables are even equipped with airbags that deploy to cushion a fall, lessening the chance of broken bones.

As seniors move less and have poorer circulation, they often complain of cold hands and feet. Digitsole® is an interactive shoe insole that keeps a person’s feet warm. The temperature can be changed with use of a smartphone app.

Technology exists for ALS and MS patients, whether they are elderly or not, to control lights, TVs, window shades, heat and air conditioning, and more with the blink of their eyes. It’s expected this is the future for assisted living and skilled nursing facilities caring for residents with mobility issues.

And while robots are expected to work side-by-side with caregivers, they are already providing needed mental stimulation to those in long-term care. These social assistive robots interact and communicate with residents, providing therapy, entertainment and companionship.

  • A robotic dog used in a memory care facility in Durham, N.C., brought great relief to residents, increasing their engagement and reducing stress.
  • PARO® has garnered much press in the industry. The adorable baby seal responds to residents who speak and pet the robot.

How to benefit from senior care technology

As tech savvy baby boomers —in relation to their parents—enter senior living communities in coming years, they will expect facilities to be connected for easy access to laptops, mobile devices and cloud-based apps. But, the future of senior living communities also depends on how other technologies can be used to offset labor shortages and improve the bottom line. In fact, many of the technologies discussed may open the door to new opportunities to differentiate yourself and add a new revenue stream by offering services to the greater community outside your doors.

If you are looking to update your facility to accommodate new technologies or if you’d like to build a new technologically advanced community, contact us for a free consultation. Or, call Terry McLaughlin at 920-969-9344.

Boost Marketability with These 5 Senior Living Design Trends

Trends to attract seniors and staff

As competition for residents and staff heats up among senior living communities, leaders of these communities are looking for ways to be more attractive within their market. Many have found that updating and refreshing their living spaces have prospective residents walking through their doors.

Today’s seniors, often prompted by their baby boomer children, are seeking living communities that bring them personal comfort, often with a touch of luxury, rather than simply a place to live out their remaining years. We’ve compiled five of the latest senior living design trends that meet the satisfaction of today’s seniors and their caregivers.

5 trends in senior housing architecture and design

Create a sense of home. This has been an assisted living design trend—as well as a trend for most senior communities—for several years. What exactly do we mean by a “sense of home?” It means doing away with the institutional design of the past and replacing it with elements found in today’s upscale homes. Modern color palettes, finishes and materials give spaces warmth. Home-like atmospheres with artwork, fireplaces, high ceilings and cozy seating areas feel inviting for residents, staff and guests.

Use biophilic design. Biophilic design brings nature indoors with the use of natural materials; live plants; large, high windows that allow sunlight to pour in; views and access to the outdoors; and art that depicts nature. The benefits of biophilic design for an aging population and their caregivers are numerous: it reduces stress, expedites healing, improves cognition and promotes socialization.

Provide multiple dining options. No longer do seniors have just one option—the large dining hall—at mealtime. Senior housing architecture now includes a variety of spaces for differing dining styles. Cafés, bistros, bars and markets with flexible food service hours (much like a restaurant) are now all found in senior living communities. Community leaders have discovered that at a time when seniors may no longer find enjoyment in eating as taste buds become dull, allowing them to dine in a more stimulating environment brings back their joy of eating.

Design for varying abilities. The goal of senior living communities is to help residents be as independent as possible to the extent of their abilities. Therefore, senior living design needs to be flexible and accommodating. Shorter hallways and bright lighting make walks less intimidating for those with moderate ambulatory issues. Proper acoustics can deafen the noise of high-traffic areas or areas with hard flooring surfaces. Residents who are able to push themselves in wheelchairs need to navigate corners easily. Memory care residents need free flowing space to walk, rather than hallways with dead ends.

Design for staff. As we face a marked increase in the senior population in coming decades, the dire need for healthcare workers will continue. While many of the senior living design trends we discussed so far will attract employees, there are design and architecture elements you can incorporate specifically to show appreciation to staff. Lounge seating, sleeping rooms and full kitchens with a captain’s table for staff meals are among the elements being included in new facilities.

Design for the future

Finally, our best piece of advice is to design for the future and changing trends. Your senior living community will last for decades and will need to appeal to new, future generations. By allowing for flexibility in your design, you’ll be poised to make updates and changes that meet the population’s healthcare needs of the time.

If you would like to implement one or more the latest trends into an existing or new community, contact us or call (920) 969-9344 to ask about our innovative architectural design ideas.

Promote Healthy Living with Unique Senior Living Activities

National Nursing Home Week® recognizes diversity and individual talents

Every community offers a wide array of senior living activities for their residents. And, for good reason. They know the extreme importance physical and mental activity, as well as socialization, have on residents’ health. As people age, support from family and friends decreases, which oftentimes increases stress, depression and anxiety.

But, by forming a community—or a family, of sorts—within long-term care facilities, residents show improved quality of life and are more able to combat the effects of social isolation. As many of us recognize National Nursing Home Week, starting on Mother’s Day in May, we rally around 2017’s theme “The Spirit of America®,” which celebrates the bond among staff, volunteers and residents as well as the uniqueness each resident brings to the senior living community.

Importance of activities in long-term care

Medical caregivers often refer to the six dimensions of health—emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and vocational—that interconnect and provide a picture of a person’s overall health.

As we mentioned, activities provided in long-term care communities have a positive effect on the emotional dimension. These activities also improve the remaining five dimensions:

Intellectual: Games, reading and journaling stimulate the brain and help offset the symptoms of dementia and other memory issues.

Physical: Movement releases endorphins, the hormones that improve mood and provide natural pain relief.

Social: Forming new friendships and other social connections give life meaning.

Spiritual: Activities that promote and strengthen individual beliefs provide hope and enhance empathy.

Vocational: Those who practiced life-long hobbies or professions may find ways to continue in these vocations in some way, giving them a sense of purpose.

Unique activities for the elderly

In the spirit of this year’s National Nursing Home Week, you may want to consider new activities that promote the individual and allow him or her to share heritage, culture and experiences. Here are just a few ways to do that:

  • Host a meal that includes dishes from cultures or areas of the world your residents identify with. You may also want to incorporate music and dance from those cultures to add to the celebration.
  • Help residents preserve their life stories by helping them write a journal of memories or create scrapbooks. In this way, residents are essentially developing their legacies, which can give them meaning and be a source of gratification.
  • Find ways residents can continue to engage in hobbies, whether they care for a garden plant or two, do simple woodworking or sewing, take part in a cooking demonstration, or move beyond arts and crafts to watercolor painting.
  • Consider ways younger generations can get involved beyond typical music or theater performances. Can they teach seniors to use modern technology? Can youth take part in or maybe even teach a new hobby? Intergenerational activities not only create lasting bonds but boost empathy in both generations.
  • To honor your veterans, consider dedicating a wall in your community to the memory of their service. Post their veteran photos and talk about the history of their service. Interviewing veterans about their service would be a great intergenerational activity for school and scouting groups.

Expand activities beyond your facility

It’s important to foster relationships with seniors outside your community, as well. Consider operating an adult day care within your long-term care facility and incorporate senior living activities into their day. Or, open your doors to the community in the evening or on a weekend to showcase the fruits of these activities, such as the scrapbooks of life stories or the veterans’ wall.

Every touchpoint you make in the community keeps you top of mind when seniors and their loved ones are considering options for long-term care.

Contact us for help

As you celebrate National Nursing Home Week, we hope we’ve given you new ideas for senior living activities to celebrate the individual within each resident.

And, if you are considering updating or remodeling your existing facility or building a new senior living community, contact us or call (920) 969-9344. See how we create designs that not only provide a welcoming atmosphere for residents but also for community members who may want to engage with you in these activities until the day comes that they join you as a member of your senior living community.