As baby boomers retire, we are seeing changes in how senior and assisted living facilities are designed.
Independent living communities are moving away from a utilitarian feeling and creating a more comfortable and healthy environment for residents. Independent living can include townhouses, apartments, or even cottages complete with a kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and everything needed for day to day life.
In addition to this, shared facilities often include dining areas and cafes with a variety of healthy and fresh options on the menu, exercise facilities, and recreational areas and schedules as well as laundry and housekeeping concierge services. For many happy residents, an assisted living community may feel like a country club or a home-like community. In fact, some communities have agreements with nearby country clubs to get their residents discounted rates and access!
Even assisted living is getting a makeover. A resident’s personal space will often include a bedroom, bathroom, small living room, and kitchenette. Dining is generally done in a communal area, and personal services such as assistance with bathing, dressing, and eating are provided if the individual requires them.
Memory care units are also becoming friendlier. They offer a safe, controlled, and comfortable home-like space for those with memory impairments such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Individuals generally have their own bedroom or small apartment but share a living and dining space with the rest of the unit. These units are fairly small in that they generally only house between 10-20 people at a time so that the residents don’t end up feeling overwhelmed.
Even skilled nursing homes may be making changes. According to Architect Magazine, the Maryland-based Green House Project has proposed smaller home-like nursing homes to house approximately ten residents. The will include decentralized support staff, a kitchen that is always accessible, and a shared and open living space. There are currently 246 Green House homes of various designs in 33 states.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.