Interior design for Care Homes

Usually, when evaluating a Care Home, it is taken into account aspects like the external location or the number of professionals, however one aspect that it is usually put aside such an important factor as the interior design of the Home, rooms of the residents as well as the common spaces.

Residents’ room. Mª Gabriela Zorrilla. University of Palermo (Argentina)
Activities’ room. Mª Gabriela Zorrilla. University of Palermo (Argentina)

In the last years, there are several studies that point that taking into account the indoor design of the spaces in Care Homes improves the quality of life of residents.

The University of Palermo (Argentina) presented a wide project to give some reasons why taking into account these factors can be a positive change, since adapting the design of spaces to the needs of elder people in Care Homes, can create more strong feelings of identity, belonging and autonomy. In this way, quality of life can be optimized, reducing the physical deterioration, creating spaces for their needs in order to create an atmosphere that stimulates their faculties. Aspects like choosing the color of walls, design of furniture (colors, textures, functionality), the layout, lighting, decoration objects or cloths (curtains, sheets, bedspreads, pillows, upholsteries, etc).

In the same way, the American Society of Geriatrics, has created an e-book guide called “Geriatrics care with design”. Some specialists of Medicine, Infirmary and Pharmacy and other professionals of the sector have been involved.

In this guide it is presented the influence of the design of interior spaces in resident’s life and its value. In the same way, you can also have some recommendations about how to choose the best design in order to build a Care Home taking into account the care circuit that will be applied.

Residents’ room. Mª Gabriela Zorrilla. University of Palermo (Argentina)

On the other hand, they also point that each small detail in design is important, like for instance, the type of picture and size of announcement documents. The vision of elder people is deteriorated, and it is convenient to use big size for letters as well as the color of the ink, contrasts with the background and the layout of the text in lists instead of large paragraphs.

Without doubt, design is an important resource where clearly we can contribute to improve many aspects of resident’s life.

Foto 4- Ismael Valencia
Project of remodeling of the Aldea Centenera Care Home (Caceres – Spain). Architect: Ismael Valencia.

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