Interior designers will play a big role in shaping the nursing home experience in the coming years. As the baby boomer generation ages, designers are...
Why the Bed and Bathroom are Key to Innovative Nursing Home Design
The design of a nursing home’s bedrooms and bathrooms can have a major impact on residents’ quality of life, comfort, and health. We take a look at a few important examples of how design decisions can impact nursing home resident’s wellbeing.
If you’re planning to make changes into your nursing home or assisted living facility’s resident rooms, it’s important to understand that innovation begins with the bedroom and bathroom. These two locations are where residents will spend the most amount of time. Making improvements to these two areas of the home can make a significant improvement in quality of life. This fact is even more true in the cases of elderly and mobility-impaired residents.
The major focus of nursing home designers is providing a safe, comfortable environment for the patient or resident. The move to a nursing home or assisted living facility is a major step for most people, and can be a stressful life event. Recreating the comforts of home is one way to make the transition a more comfortable and less stressful experience.
Privacy is another consideration that’s become a major focus of designers. Nursing home guests need to be able to interact with those around them but need an opportunity to retreat to the bedroom for privacy and rest. The bed and bathroom are mostly utilitarian areas that lay at the core of innovation in nursing home planning.
Improve Resident’s Health with Innovative Bedding Products
The main utility of the bedroom in a nursing home or assisted living facility is rest and recovery. Even nursing home residents with an active lifestyle spend a significant part of their lives in bed. The bedroom should be a comfortable place and innovations in nursing home design have played a big role in improving quality of life for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Infection is a major concern for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Often these infections are a result of pressure ulcers, weakened immune systems, and communal living. It’s very important for nursing homes and assisted living facilities to combat infection with antimicrobial fabric. Innovative medical fabric such as the Sure-Chek line from Herculite are the industry-standard for antimicrobial properties. This material is made with a “slow-release” system which releases antimicrobial properties to the surface of the fabric.
While residents spend a considerable amount of time in their beds, the bedroom is useful for much more. The bedroom provides a level of privacy from visitors and staff, which can be enhanced using a sliding privacy door controlled by the resident. This gives bed-confined residents the ability to interact with staff or visitors in the family room and providing the privacy to rest.
Technological innovations have had a major impact on nursing homes, giving residents increased independence and making it easier to provide care. For instance, smart devices that can brighten or dim the lights or adjust the temperature in the room can lead to greater independence and resident comfort.
Keep the Bathroom Accessible and Functional
In addition to the bedroom, the accessibility and functionality of the bathroom is a key to innovative nursing home design. The bathroom should be designed in harmony with the bedroom, with the two integrated to encourage autonomous use by residents. The bathroom shouldn’t only be near the bathroom; a clear, unobstructed path from the bed to the bathroom door should be an important design element.
The nursing home bathroom should have an open layout, making it easy for residents to get in and out of the room. Some residents may require assistance to bath or use the bathroom. A swinging semi-false wall provides the privacy of a typical bathroom but can be moved to accommodate a staff member or family member. A ceiling mounted hoist makes it easier for staff to transfer the patient from the bed to the bathroom.
Bacteria and viruses thrive in the warm and moist environment of the bathroom. Taking steps to prevent infection is a crucial component of good nursing home design. Much like medical bedding should have antimicrobial properties, so should bathroom fabric, such as the shower curtain. Replacing low-quality material with slow-releasing Sure-Chek shower curtain material is one way to offer a clean, microbe-free area for residents to bath.