Our youth may be our future, but it’s our elders that have made that future possible. When the time comes, everyone wants their elderly relatives to have a pleasant environment to live in, one that will fulfil all their needs, keep them safe, and most importantly – live up to their standards and treat them with the respect they deserve.
Nobody likes living in an environment that seems sterile, cold, and uninviting. Even though many nursing homes take care of the medical needs of their residents, that shouldn’t be where they draw their atmosphere from. When it comes to aged care facilities, the word ‘home’ should be the keyword. It’s incredibly important for all people, not just the elderly ones, to have the place they call home be enjoyable to live in. That’s why when looking into a nursing home, most people look for attributes that make it feel warm, cozy, and welcoming. A hospital-like look just won’t do.
So, how do you make a nursing home an enjoyable place to live without compromising safety, cleanliness, and other mandatory features that aid in keeping the health and well-being of the residents intact? Many things add up to produce this ideal nursing home, and we’ll go through them one by one, but it all starts with safety, thus flooring.
The Best Flooring for Nursing Homes
There is specifically developed aged care flooring you can shop for. It’s usually made of vinyl that has been enriched with special features. It’s designed to fit every room of your facility and maintain safety standards but still skips on the hospital vibe. Let’s take a look.
Wood-like Vinyl Flooring
This is one of our favourites when it comes to aged care flooring. Imitating the nuances and grain only wood can form, this vinyl floor can give a room a natural and fresh look. Definitely miles away from most things you see in hospitals, it’s a top choice for common areas, sleeping quarters, and corridors. Non-slip options are available as well, making sure any spillage isn’t an instant hazard for your residents.
This type of flooring can also be found in specially treated versions that make it easier to maintain and disinfect. There are various colours you can choose from, as not all threes are the same, and the styles vary, too! From broad planks to a parquet-like look, you can browse and take your pick.
This is another option you can think about. Adding a bit of liveliness into the space, it’s a decor of its own. Great for rooms where residents spend a lot of time, rooms where therapy sessions are being held, or any place that might get a bit too stressful and needs a bit of help. Having a duo-toned or a monochrome flooring in a warm shade can change a lot. There are also designs which are dementia-friendly, an extremely useful product that finds its way into nursing homes across the country, especially ones that specialise in the field.
For spaces where water is a constant occurrence, like bathrooms, non-slip, durable, and stud-free flooring is key. Beneficial to both residents and caretakers, such flooring is reinforced with technology which eliminates the risk of slipping not only on water but soap and shower gel spills as well. The stud-free feature makes sure nobody will cut their feet on anything sharp while in the room, optimising safety in the bathroom.
Such flooring is available in multiple shades you can choose from and can be paired with special ceiling and wall coverings to optimise the shower space. This flooring is similar to what we see in hospitals, as it does find its use there, but when it comes to a bathroom, having it look clean and neat is imperative.
The Right Blend of Furniture & Decor
Once you have your homely floors, it’s time to think about furniture and decor. Aside from the necessary medical equipment, which we naturally won’t count as either decor or furniture, there is a lot of things you can add.
Before we begin with this part, thinking of a theme to follow while designing the look of the space will help immensely. There are different interior design styles you can choose from. Contemporary, traditional, vintage, natural, minimalist, Scandinavian, and so on. Each of these has its own highlights and downsides. Look around for what defines each and what you think would fit the idea of a nursing home best.
Going with no sharp corners, natural materials for both furniture and additions like blankets, linens, decor, and so on, loads of natural light, an appropriate colour-scheme, atmospheric artificial light sources, and a bunch of greenery will make everything feel fresher and more appealing.
Greenery is a great addition to nursing homes as it can both help with maintaining air quality and humidity and can be engaging to residents. Nurturing and caring for plants and watching them grow and prosper is something that stimulates elderly people and makes them feel useful. It’s an everyday activity that will keep the residents busy, giving in return many health benefits. To make it easier for them and increase the chances of success, you can pick convenient self-watering planters which are great for helping plants thrive.
Loads of natural light has a very positive effect on the mind. Being able to enjoy the full light of day, see the sun and sky, and enjoy the view of the surrounding nature outside will help in keeping positive spirits up. All of this means that lots of big, secure windows, brightly-coloured curtains of organic materials, and spaces to sit and take in the light are a great idea.
We understand the importance of having general light sources that shine brightly on the whole room. Emergencies happen and some parts of the home just need to have these. Not to mention, many of these lights have an antibacterial feature which is highly important.
Still, having alternative light sources with yellow instead of white light will add to the relaxed, hospitable look we’re going for. Both floor lamps and table lamps are a good idea, though you need to be careful with the style. It needs to be something that can’t be easily broken or pushed over but still have the right design features.
We spoke about appropriate walls for the bathroom areas, but what about everything else? When picking paint colour for the spaces, know that white isn’t the only option out there. Stick to the style you’ve chosen and see which colours would fit and positively stimulate residents. Also, consider using wallpaper. It’s easy to use, often made waterproof, and is quite durable. The pop of colour or the presence of a soothing pattern can really come in handy.
Another thing to consider in the wall decor department is art. Art prints, photographs, and paintings are easily available online and will enrich the space like nothing else. We all decorate our homes with such items, so it’s natural they shouldn’t be excluded when it comes to nursing homes. Appropriately themed, they should stimulate happy thoughts and be interesting to see. We’d recommend avoiding abstract art, unless it’s something that might be beneficial to certain types of residents, and use art that’s inspired by reality.
Summing It Up
Safety is a number one priority when designing a nursing home, but everything else has its level of importance as well. The whole point is to create a space that’s functional, safe, and pleasant to be in so that the residents and staff alike enjoy their time there. Consider these tips when thinking of designing or redesigning your nursing home, or when you’re searching for the perfect elderly care facility for a loved one. Remember, the focus keyword should always be “home”. After all, an aged care facility is just another home away from home. Residents deserve to feel safe, accepted, relaxed, and pleasant in it.