Learning from the latest in senior living construction

 A few months back, Senior Housing News discussed four senior living design trends that are crisscrossing continents. While a common thread unites the trends, each takes on its own local flavor in places like China, Europe and the United States. We’ve noticed the trends, too, and in some cases, we’ve been a part of making the trend a reality for our clients.

Let’s take a look.

1. Resort-style living

Some areas of China have gone big on this trend—literally—building sprawling campuses where interiors and exteriors are nearly seamless. Construction costs keep the trend of expansive campuses from taking hold in America. But, a focus on wellness, not just living, means that integrating outdoor and indoor spaces has become an important design consideration. Like they would in their own home, residents want the luxury of exercising, gardening, or hosting family and friends outdoors. And, having visual and direct access to outdoor spaces improves the well-being of all residents, no matter where they are in the continuum of care.

At CLS, we put significant emphasis on outdoor spaces when designing our senior living construction projects. We ensure spaces are safe, welcoming, accessible and easily viewed from indoors. We understand how essential natural light is for interior spaces—expansive windows installed in common areas improve the well-being of residents and employees, alike.

2. Luxury living

Resort-style living is luxury living, but luxury also encompasses what senior living facilities offer in amenities, some mimicking what you’d find at 5-star hotels, including concierge services. In the Far East, luxury living is combined with modern Western design. In the United States, the ultimate in luxury senior living communities demand entrance fees of up to $1 million and thousands of dollars in monthly charges. While the latest senior living communities now offer a fitness center, salon and swimming pool, these luxury communities also boast wine cellars and restaurants with classically trained chefs.

While most of us cannot afford to live out our lives in such extravagance, the trend of continuing to remain active long into retirement permeates all income levels. Baby boomers and their children, who often help make living arrangements for their parents, are demanding more amenities from senior living communities. These seniors don’t want to feel like they are “in a home” but rather, “at home.” To accommodate these needs, we build facilities with bistros and dining rooms, areas for hobbies, libraries and more.

3. Connecting senior care and healthcare

Around the world, senior living providers and health care organizations are realizing the need for greater collaboration. It makes economic sense. After all, they are vying for the same resources, namely labor, as we are experiencing here in the United States. In some areas, these collaborative organizations are locating near neighborhoods, where seniors—and people of all ages—can enjoy the benefits of intergenerational living.

4. Adaptive reuse

This senior living design trend involves repurposing buildings specifically for senior living communities. It’s happening throughout the United States as our aging population needs care while offices, malls and other commercial buildings sit empty. The trend is also popular in Europe, which is experiencing the same population shift in cities where land is extremely limited and now-empty historic buildings have stood the test of time.

Not every adaptive reuse project makes sense. But if a comprehensive master plan indicates that it’s a viable option, repurposing a building that is past its prime may be economically savvy, , compared to building from scratch. And because potential sites are often located in the heart of cities, seniors will welcome living near cultural and other amenities. In one of our adaptive reuse projects, we converted a former medical clinic into Grancare Gardens, an assisted living facility that helped create a continuum of care on one campus.

Rely on our senior living construction expertise

At CLS, we stay at the forefront of senior living design trends. By doing so, we can provide you architectural design and building recommendations to enhance your marketability and stay ahead of the competition. If you would like to discuss how to modernize a current facility or build new, complete our contact form or call 920-969-9344.