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Designing Senior Living Facilities to Enhance Socialization

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

A plan for connection, conversation and companionship

Designing Senior Living for Socialization

If the recent social distancing protocol has taught us anything, it’s that we crave daily human interaction. The innate need to socialize is real for people of all ages. Yet, as some adults enter their golden years, socialization tends to decrease due to retirement, the loss of family members and friends, or an increasing lack of mobility. We know this lack of daily interaction can lead to depression, cognitive decline and a higher risk for health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. On the contrary, those who maintain meaningful contact with others experience a boost in mood and cognitive function, an increased sense of purpose and well-being and in some cases, a longer life. Designing senior living facilities to bring people together can promote connection, conversation and companionship to improve your residents’ well-being.

Design trends good for the mind, body and soul

Here at CLS, we understand the importance of keeping residents socially connected and physically active. Whether you are looking to do more with the space you have, planning a renovation or building a new facility, we offer the latest in design to enhance socialization.

 Spaces for friends and fellowship

 Incorporate communal spaces to promote mixing and mingling. Hallways provide plenty of opportunity for interaction. Include alcoves throughout the corridors and benches along walls to provide a space for friends to chat or to have a by-chance encounter with a passerby. Community cafes are another senior living design trend that helps friendship take bloom. Small group spaces reminiscent of home family rooms for playing games and putting together puzzles, as well as homestyle kitchens where residents can cook, bake and take cooking classes together promote staying active and connected.

Creative quarters

 Whether they build, paint, crochet or sew, spaces designated for crafting allow minds and fellowship to thrive. Incorporate an art studio complete with natural light and supplies and host a gallery walk where, together, residents can view art on display. Consider space on your grounds for a workshop for building and sculpting and recruit your seasoned carpenters to teach an instructional class. And incorporate maker spaces for crafts of all kinds—from painting and drawing to quilting and crafting. Hold a Saturday market in a common area where residents, staff and visitors can view and purchase art on display.

Outdoor spaces

 Gardens, walking paths and courtyards encourage fresh air, fitness and friendship. Whether to take in the beauty of nature or to get some physical activity, a space designed to enjoy the outdoors is a must. Incorporate eye-catching landscape elements like fountains and ponds, plant shrubs and bushes that attract birds and butterflies, and incorporate several sitting areas where residents can picnic, birdwatch or simply shoot the breeze.

Music rooms

Nothing brings people together like music. A designated music room or multi-purpose room with proper acoustics can encourage gathering to create, harmonize and worship. Whether residents use the room to make their own music or invite weekly performers, staff, visitors and residents alike are sure to enjoy all it has to offer.

Wellness areas

 Today’s seniors are living active lifestyles. Help them get their daily dose of activity and social interaction by providing space for fitness activities like yoga, Pilates, thai chi or strength training. Consider incorporating a fitness studio built to house treadmills, elliptical machines and incumbent bikes. Or turn a multi-purpose room into a fitness studio for aerobic classes and personal training. Also trending is to incorporate in-room fitness spaces for home workouts. Home workouts don’t have to be done alone. Offer buddy training where residents can work out with a friend.

Senior living design with socialization in mind

CLS specializes in designing senior living facilities with you and your residents in mind. To incorporate these and other senior living design trends in your new facility or remodel, set up a free consultation or call 920-969-9344.