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The residents in a senior care facility or senior living community are greatly impacted by the physical environment they have to navigate. Smart and thoughtful design maximizes safety, comfort and accessibility, while maintaining a pleasing atmosphere. Long-term care, short-term care and long-term rehabilitation facilities have been shown to achieve better outcomes for residents when the physical environment addresses how residents, staff and visitors use the space.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that our physical and social environment contributes over 50 percent to our state of health, followed by lifestyle and health behaviors, medical care and genetics. Research shows that conventional hospital design contributes to stress and adverse patient outcomes. Poor design also negatively impacts staff productivity and the ability to deliver great patient care. Conversely, the physical environment of a senior care facility can be designed to positively impact residents’ wellbeing and health outcomes in four significant ways.
Seniors benefit greatly from engaging socially and enjoying time outside of their rooms. Senior facilities should have community spaces with comfortable seating to encourage social interactions among residents and staff, as well as areas that offer privacy for friend and family visits.
The design of any senior facility can either add to or detract from its welcoming community culture. Physical environment influences mood and behavior. People tend to be happier and less stressed in beautiful surroundings. A dingy, cluttered space is likely to stay that way, whereas a clean and bright space is less likely to become cluttered and dirty. Windows offer views of nature which has been shown to improve brain function as well as physical and emotional health.
Natural light improves the brain’s production of serotonin, a natural mood-enhancing chemical. Because many seniors in long-term care spend much of their time indoors, access to natural light becomes even more important for alertness, mood, productivity and healthy sleep patterns. Spaces properly lit with artificial light are equally important for safety and comfort. A mix of ambient lighting and brighter task lighting where needed in cooler tones that don’t create strong contrast is best for older eyes.
Settings for seniors intentionally designed to be peaceful rather than noisy and chaotic, contribute to less stress and confusion. In a harmonious environment, residents and guests are much less likely to feel worried, sad or helpless, and to experience negative physical symptoms such as higher blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension.
Colavria Hospitality’s environments are organized, peaceful and designed to reduce stress.
Colavria Hospitality currently manages four senior living communities in the Denver metro area which offer a unique mix of care options. Our mission is to provide those we serve with an environment that focuses on hospitality, person-centered relationships, and the well-being of each individual. Each community operates under our Core Principles of Collaboration, Innovation, and Harmony to assure a rich and secure lifestyle for patients as well as a pleasant working environment for our care team. We invite you to take a tour of our facilities.
The Rehabilitation Center at Sandalwood
A long-term care and rehabilitation community with a 15,000 square foot state of the art rehabilitation center in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
Saint Paul Health Center
A diverse, caring 125-bed long-term rehabilitation facility in Denver, Colorado that also includes the Parkside Rehabilitation Center at Saint Paul, a 30-bed short-term rehabilitation facility.