When it comes to senior living, whether assisted living, continuing care retirement communities, or nursing facilities, function is essential.  It is crucial that a facility be able to provide the care promised to residents and their families.  That care may be as simple as nutritious, on-time meals in an assisted living community or providing on-time medication and responsive nurses and aides in accurate dosages to patients in a nursing facility.  The importance of high-level functioning cannot be underscored enough.  It is essential to the facility’s licensure and reputation.

But its not just function that is important.  As more Americans began to transition into these facilities, whether by actually moving into them or beginning to consider them, its becoming apparent that form matters too. While a beautiful dining room won’t compensate for inadequate care, it can be the difference when an individual or their family is choosing their new home, which is what senior living facilities are.

Senior Housing News recently summarized some of the latest trends in senior housing design that are likely to become the new norm.  They are really a mixture of form and function.

Branding – No longer just a term thrown-out by PR and design firms, developing recognizable branding has become a key aspect of many facilities.  An investment in branding can be particularly effective for multi-facility companies.  Branding is about developing a cohesive feel of the community that is consistently portrayed to potential consumers from the time they view a marketing brochure through a tour of the facility.  It becomes what the facility or company is “known” for and helps develop a reputation.  If you’re skeptical about the importance of branding, just look at Apple, who recently obtained trademark protection for the instantly recognizable layout of its stores.

Modern Amenities – By modern, we don’t just mean “new”; we mean in line with current consumer demands.  Today’s seniors want more than just a TV in their room and a gym with a stationary bike down the hall; they want amenities that are aligned with current consumer trends.  For example, meditation and yoga have been on the rise nationally among all age groups and in response, facilities have been incorporating meditation gardens and yoga classes.   Similarly, the foodie craze has prompted an increasing number of facilities to up their dining game by providing high-end food in restaurant-like environments.

Less Clinical – In general, seniors are seeking a less clinical feel, even if they are in a facility, like a nursing home, whose core purpose is in many ways clinical.  Senior housing operations are achieving this result by focusing on making the interior design more home-like and by emphasizing more personal interactions by staff where residents are treated more like guests at a hotel than names on a chart.

These types of changes in senior housing facilities may seem superficial but they contribute to the psychological well-being and happiness of residents, which has been consistently linked to better clinical outcomes.

A Capital Company that Cares

Cambridge Realty Capital seeks to help out customers stay up to date on the latest news and trends in the senior housing business. We know that a successful facility requires more than just funding; it requires effective use of that funding.

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