When it comes to operating a successful, appealing Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE), the specific design and layout of the facility itself can end up playing a very important role. As someone who owns or manages an RCFE, you know that a main focus is ensuring that senior residents feel properly cared for and secure in the environments they inhabit each day. Strategic, carefully thought out design choices can help tremendously in this regard, particularly for those residents that struggle with dementia and other memory-related conditions. Having worked in this field for a long time, we would like to share our insight on this matter in hopes that it proves useful to you.
Pay Attention to Visual Elements
We sometimes forget the mental and emotional impact that different colors can have on us as human beings. Even stepping in a room that is painted a particular color can affect mood and change one’s perception of things. Where your RCFE residents are concerned, keep in mind that color awareness and vision in general become altered over the years. As older individuals tend to hone in on colors like yellow and green, featuring these colors prominently at your facility can prove beneficial to their overall ability to see and discern specific visual elements.
You’ll also want to be careful to not use design patterns that have too much going on in them, as that might end up being off-putting for those living there. On the other hand, implementing more restrained motifs and color schemes in different rooms can be useful in terms of increasing awareness of where one room ends and another begins. Ultimately, you want to be thoughtful in your color selections and find options that will make residents feel welcomed and cozy. Speaking of creating a serene and pleasant environment, it’s also useful to allow in as much natural sunlight as possible rather than relying too much on artificial lighting. Natural light offers both mental and physical benefits, and can help give your residents the boost they need.
Strike the Right Design Balance
When working on the overall layout of the facility, it is important to find the right balance between aesthetics and functional necessities. While you want to incorporate design elements that promote the desired look and feel, you also need to ensure that the setup is appropriate for the type of care you’re seeking to provide. One type of area where this is particularly relevant is the common room, or generally any space where residents spend a lot of time together. You want to make sure that these rooms are as adaptable as possible so that they can successfully handle a variety of different social events.
Even with this spatial flexibility, you’ll still want to maintain a standard layout for furniture and other components most of the time. If the room layout keeps changing, residents faced with memory difficulties and comprehension problems can find themselves feeling increasingly overwhelmed and disoriented. Prioritizing consistent organization can help residents feel more at ease and less stressed about finding themselves in spaces they have trouble recognizing.
There’s No Place Like Home
For many elderly people, the transition to living at an RCFE can be a jarring and somewhat unsettling experience. These individuals are leaving behind the spaces they once knew, and finding themselves having to adjust to their new surroundings. As someone operating an RCFE, you can help make this transition, and subsequent resident experience, better by having the facility designed in such a way that it truly feels like home. You want residents to know that they are in a place where they can live comfortably and happily. The less that reminds them that they’re in a care facility, the better. Similarly, you want to configure outdoor spaces so that they provide a similar feel.
If you have any questions regarding anything covered above, the friendly team at InsureMyRCFE would be happy to speak with you. We are also a leading provider of liability, workers compensation, and commercial property insurance policies for RCFEs, and can help you in that regard as well. For assistance, please call us at (805) 413-5668.