By 2020, the United States will be home to at least 55 million people reaching the age of 65 and preparing to live in senior homes, says a latest report. Additionally, over 6.6 million will reach the age of 85. The state of senior living facilities will have to change to accommodate this growth. Currently, there a few distinct types of senior homes that older folks can choose from like independent apartments, assisted living, and senior day care with memory care, elder care, and other nursing facilities.
Senior communities then and now
Senior communities are more than just a collection of apartments, public spaces and hallways; they act as nurturing homes for people that require constant care. The age old concepts of institutionalized nursing for seniors are losing momentum as more communities are geared towards creating a comfortable and homely atmosphere. Communities for senior citizens are similar to college campuses and include wellness centers, gift shops, fitness rooms, recreational spaces, dining room, cafes, pubs, beauty salons and more.
These communities also include auditoriums and game rooms to keep seniors mentally and physically charged. This great range of activities also fosters an active social life and helps ward off signs of dementia in aging brains. Communities are also equipped with meditation gardens and arts and crafts to encourage a healthy and active mind. In the last decade, senior living homes have transformed from medical institutions to wellness havens that cater to all aspects of senior life and encourage overall wellbeing.
Choices made by today’s seniors
While the average age of seniors opting for assisted living is over 80, many seniors are exploring options by the time they retire. Many fresh retirees are opting for joint communities with their friends and looking forward to aging together. On the other hand, some seniors also prefer living in larger communities on a single campus. At our Fremont, CA community, you can enjoy a wholesome and fun filled life after retirement.
Design aspects of senior living homes
Senior homes are now being designed while considering the needs of older people. There are many issues that should be addressed while designing homes for seniors to create a space that is positive, nurturing and safe. For seniors battling cognitive impairment, senior homes should be designed keeping in mind their vision, mobility and other limitations.
Owing to the degenerating quality of vision, senior homes should be designed with minimum contrast to keep change of depth to a minimum. Additionally, soothing colours must be used on the walls and flooring to keep combative behavior to a minimum. Diverse colors should be used for the walls, floors and window/ door frames to help seniors differentiate. The growing need of being green is applied to senior homes as well, with many adopting eco-friendly materials and practices to save precious resources.