How to Improve the Environment in Assisted Living and Retirement Communities
Present-day assisted living and retirement communities have come a long way, with increased community integration and an emphasis on maintaining independence for residents. The physical environment of a retirement facility must be carefully designed to maximize functionality in terms of daily activities, personal independence, and opportunities for privacy and social interaction. An appropriately designed space will cultivate an atmosphere that puts its residents in a positive mindset to enjoy their new surroundings.
Involve the Community
Keeping seniors actively involved in the community reminds them of their own independence and lets them share their amazing stories with more people than just their friends and families. By setting up a community involvement program, neighbourhood residents will get to know each other and forge meaningful friendships. A common way to do this is by introducing a volunteer program with a local school. Students will learn valuable lessons and gain insightful stories from the retirement community residents while sharing a laugh and spending some quality time.
Another way to involve the local community and integrate retirement community residents is by hosting events that both can take part in. Set up a community garden in the spring or an art activity on a cold, winter day. In doing so, you create a reason for the community to come together and interact.
Educate Your Staff
Continuous education is important in every field, but especially in an interaction-based job. Giving your employees the tools they need will cause less stress and result in a calmer working environment. Although you may initially view employee training as a costly investment, it’s definitely worthwhile in the long run. Retirement community staff interacts with many residents and their families within a day, making their communication and listening skills extremely important. An educated employee in the care field will be able to capitalize on every interaction, leaving residents reassured that they are in the best possible hands.
Although you may view plants as a great decor item, you might be surprised to learn that they also present numerous health benefits. Plants are proven to increase feelings of well-being and put people in a better mood. They are especially important in winter months when residents aren’t able to get outside, as they make people feel like they are more in touch with nature.
Other benefits of plants include:
- Reduced carbon dioxide levels
- Decreased airborne dust
- Minimized temperature fluctuations
- Managed noise levels
Plants are also a great way to decorate your retirement community. They are fairly neutral and don’t overstimulate residents that are sensitive to intense colours and patterns.
If you’re looking to improve the atmosphere of your retirement home, a great way to start is by asking the residents about the changes they want to see. There are many ways to do this, but as a first step, it’s usually best to just go around and ask residents in person. This way you get a feel for what everyone’s thinking and can start planning options that they can choose from at a later date. Providing concrete options is usually the best way for all parties to visualize the changes.
At InTouchLink, we’re dedicated to providing you with superior assisted living and retirement community integrative technology. To learn more about what we offer, call 1-877-784-6868 and request a free demonstration.