Healing Spaces: The Impact of Architectural Design on Resident Well-being in Senior Living Communities

Architectural design plays a vital role in shaping our built environment, and nowhere is its impact more significant than in senior and assisted living buildings. Beyond mere functionality, the design of these facilities can profoundly influence residents well-being, comfort, and recovery. Below are five different ways in which architectural design elements can contribute to improving the experience and overall wellbeing for residents in these spaces.

Healing Environments:
Emotional and psychological well-being of patients is greatly impacted by their physical environment. Things like natural light, soothing colors, and views of nature are able to create calming atmospheres that aid in reducing stress and anxiety. Some thoughtful interior design choices for this may include:

  • Comfortable Furniture
  • Soothing Artwork
  • Greenery and Indoor Plants

Privacy and Dignity:
Respecting the privacy and dignity of residents is incredibly important. Architectural design plays a significant role in ensuring occupants feel secure and respected in their homes. Private rooms with sufficient space, soundproofing, reduced noise disturbances, and well-designed layouts that foster personal space and room for self-expression are some great ways to prioritize these values.

Access to Nature:
Nature has a powerful impact on our well-being. Incorporating outdoor gardens, courtyards, and even windows in rooms can allow residents to connect with their natural environment, which has been shown to reduce stress, enhance mood, and promote faster recovery and healing times for sick individuals.

Views of greenery or access to natural light have also been known to help create positive and healing atmosphere. In fact, according to one study, patients that had a room with at least one window during a hospital stay had a 20% lower mortality rate compared to patients in a windowless room.

Social Interaction:
senior couple with childrenSadly, isolation and loneliness is a common issue for seniors. Well-designed common areas, lounges, and communal spaces can help combat this issue by naturally encouraging social interaction among other residents, their families, and caregivers. By nurturing opportunities for social engagement, residents may be able to experience improved emotional health, and experience reduced feelings of loneliness, all while enhancing their support networks.

Functionality and Efficiency:
Creating senior living and assisted living facilities where residents can effortlessly navigate their homes requires prioritizing logical floor plans, implementing clear signage, and effectively organizing spaces. Well-placed amenities like waiting areas, refreshment stations, and easily accessible restrooms are other intentional and thoughtful ways for the design to contribute to a comfortable and joyful living environment with the capability of reducing stress and confusion among residents.

At Ted Trout Architect & Associates, we understand the importance of senior living and assisted living facilities having not only aesthetically pleasing exterior architectural designs but also thoughtful interiors that take into account the many ways in which seniors may be positively impacted by the design. Our goal is to recognize and leverage the power of architectural design to create spaces that promote health, comfort, and happy lifestyles for future residents.