We’d like to highlight “A Gray Area,” an article by Lauren Boston of NAA from Units Magazine…
Searching for the perfect home for an aging family member can be a very difficult task for the caregiver or adult child in charge of the process. As Baby Boomers enter the ‘Golden Age,’ more companies are “starting to discover the benefits of connecting seniors to programs that assist them in aging” as opposed to just a place where they can grow “old.” Units makes a wonderful distinction between these two terms, ‘aging’ and ‘growing old,’ by quoting industry specialist and Senior vice president of operations for Baltimore’s Shelter Properties, Diane Edwards.
“Aging is a fact of life—it’s a given. Getting or feeling old comes with a negative connotation. Aging in place reflects independence and empowerment…”
The senior housing industry has taken this information and transformed the housing offerings for seniors into a vehicle to enable their seniors to age with dignity.
The growing need for communities to fulfill both the expectations of the adult child and the needs of the aging parent are leading more companies to design apartments that offer sensible and functional design. Manny Gonzalez, principal of architecture firm KTGY Group, Inc. explains that when a universal design is executed well, it allows for simple yet clever solutions. For example, light switches with an added outlet for a plug that can be utilized to add a night light to find the switch, or to plug in a vacuum for ease of use.
More innovative design ideas are incorporating home favorites into the community amenities list. For example, a pre-design focus group led by Gonzalez’s firm revealed that men would miss the opportunity to work in their garages, and so a 1950s-style hobby and craft garage was incorporated into the final design of their new complex in Glendale, California. The same is true for other senior living facilities that strive to meet their target population’s needs in an effective and engaging manner by providing activities, programs and amenities that suit their senior’s needs to express their individuality.
The article notes assisted living facilities focus on field trips and memory care facilities’ popular music programs. Every facility is unique in the way they serve their seniors, striving to provide the best environment in which to age with dignity in this ever-changing housing landscape.
And…a BIG congratulations to author, Lauren Boston, for winning a Hermes Creative Award for this article. You can see a list of all the winners here.