There’s No Place Like Home in a Senior Living Community

John Galvin Senior Environments, Technology

Studies have shown that senior community residents are more relaxed, happier and contented (and hence live longer!) when the community they live in is more like home and less like a hospital or other highly institutionalized environment. Yet safety and security of residents is still paramount. The senior care industry has responded with a new generation of nurse call and wander management systems and products that eliminate intrusive PA’s, beeping pagers and squawking two-way radios with wireless smart-phone and tablet technology that both enhances resident-staff and staff-staff communications AND makes the environment more peaceful and home-like.

The ClearPath sales team has observed this trend first-hand as new builds and remodels eliminate (or conceal) institutional cues, including:
– doorbells and knockers to announce entry into personal space
– natural light and large windows with nice views
– built-ins for personal storage
– private bathrooms off the bedroom areas
– design trends that mirror residential living (open floor plans)
– meaningful artwork

As quoted in the Fall 2016 issue of Environments for Aging Magazine, Russel Mauk illustrates the coexistence of technology and environment: “The design of skilled nursing facilities will continue the evolution into friendlier environments where technology allows the systems required for that high level of care; however, it will also allow (that technology) to be hidden to the residents” ( Mauk specifically mentions small charting tables or telephone tablets instead of high-walled nursing stations, with wood finishes that blend into the adjacent living areas. Critical technologies such as alarm and emergency call systems are easily available to staff while blending into the overall aesthetic of a homey environment.

source: (Fall 2016), “Personalized Care”, pg.36