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Design Trends in Senior Living: Key Takeaways From Environments for Aging 2019 Design Showcase

Kim Warchol, president and founder of Dementia Care Specialists, recently took part in the 2019 Environments for Aging (EFA) Design Showcase judging in Dallas, Texas.
Kim judged on a panel that including architects, interior and landscape designers, and operators. Her experience as an occupational therapist specializing in gerontology, and her senior living design expertise proved invaluable to the team in selecting a winner in this prestigious senior living facility design competition.
A number of recurring themes came through in the designs. A couple of highlights for Warchol include:
  • Hospitality design: This is all about amenities such as multiple dining options—including bars and bistros—swimming pools, workout and wellness centers, outdoor activity areas, chef demonstration kitchens, and more.
  •  Ramps in swimming pools: Ideal for water wheelchairs, ramps are also a great way to help an ambulatory person get into the pool safely.

Kim is excited to see design trends like these, but cautions that some trends may be most appropriate for the healthy, active senior and may not support a person with greater cognitive, physical, or sensory support needs.
For example, although muted and neutral colors are on trend, they aren’t suitable for all seniors. “Aging eyes have difficulty with depth perception and distinguishing edges of surfaces, so using these colors can negatively impact function, safety, and quality of life,” says Kim.
This is just one of many special considerations when designing for seniors, memory care design being the most challenging. To learn more about memory care design, don’t miss Dementia Care Specialists’s pre-conference workshop Designing Dementia Capable Environments at this year’s EFA Expo & Conference.
Designing Dementia Capable Environments
Sunday, April 7, 2019
EFA Expo & Conference
Register today

Person-Centered Care Podcast!

Listen to episode 67 of Unrestrained, a CPI podcast, to hear Dementia Care Specialists founder Kim Warchol explain how she developed the gold standard of person-centered dementia care, the Warchol Best Abilities Care Model℠.