Seniors are a growing community around the world who have their own set of needs in terms of care, entertainment, and assistance. A report released by the UN Population Fund and Helpage India pegged the number of senior citizens to grow to 173 million by 2026 in India. Around the world, large communities focussed on senior citizens is growing that allows for all forms of senior living ranging from independent and assisted living to memory care and full nursing care. The growing market has also brought with it a set of global best practices that need to be followed in order to better serve this section of society.
Senior housing today needs to be more than just non-slip tiles and support bars. Many people today retire at 60 years but have active social lives for almost another 20 years, so the homes now must cater to a host of requirements that include entertainment, social gatherings, care systems and even a new learning environment. Taking into consideration the various best practices from around the world, here are a few that every senior housing facility should follow to create the best environment for their residents.
Design that is supportive of an aging resident is very important. That doesn’t mean you have only safety features, but you also can consider creating elegant spaces with soothing colours that can elevate the space. Spaces should also be designed keeping in mind the dignity of the residents and also give importance to their mental health as many of them might spend a lot of their time indoors. Open spaces, large rooms for community gatherings and even large windows can play a big role in creating a favourable environment.
Clear definition of Care level
Residents need to be aware of the level of care they can expect at a home created for senior living. Clear guidelines need to be provided to the residents so that they can make an informed choice about the kind of facility they would live to be part of. Aside from the amenities it’s important to know the level of medical care the resident can expect during their stay. Several senior citizens may want to be in a facility that can upgrade the care level from basic to full nursing care if the need arises.
The Good Life
Senior living today is starting from the age of 60 – 65 years for many. At this age they are independently mobile, socially active and while they may not live with their families, they do want to live the good life. This is where the housing facilities amenities come into play. Walking spaces and yoga rooms are good for a few, while others want swimming pools and bridge rooms. The space should keep the residents active and engaged to ensure that they lead a stimulating life.
The Great outdoors
Outdoor spaces are very important for physical and mental health. A good senior housing would have plenty of green spaces for seniors to exercise and relax in. Open or semi-open spaces offer a space to elevate the mood and also reduce depression. The open spaces should be designed keeping in mind easy access to senior members with facilities of ramps and non-slip surfaces.
A concept that is slowly garnering more attention is the integration of senior housing with regular housing communities. The idea is to include assisted or independent senior living into a regular community of families to enable them to continue to be part of everyday society. This has also known to improve their mental health and keep them healthier as they come in contact with children of the community on a regular basis.
There is continued demand and growth in this area of housing and expectations of quality and service in a holistic environment take precedence. The best senior living facilities will consider putting these best practices in place to promote the wellness of their residents.