As assisted living residents are increasing in both age and acuity levels of conditions, wear & tear to your assisted living or memory care community can happen at a faster rate. This can lead to increased annual cost of replacing furniture and a less than stellar visual appeal that may turn away new residents.
Luckily there are some simple tricks that can help you stay ahead of the game, keeping your assisted living or memory care community looking brand new for years.
1. Rotate artwork regularly
Partner with local artists and galleries so the art changes on a regular basis for a minimal cost. Be sure to focus on art with a nature theme as this has a positive impact on overall health and emotional stability of the residents.
2. Focus on high traffic areas for improvements first
The dining area sees the most traffic and therefore shows wear most quickly. Small changes can have a great impact for e.g. changing the focal color in the dining room (new placemats or table linens) or making seasonal changes to the dining menu.
3. Pick a warm neutral color palate
This will allow you to change accent colors through pieces (i.e. throw pillows) at a minimal cost but maximum appeal. You can makeover your community without the cost of purchasing all new furniture.
4. Accessorize with purpose
Use multiple textures to evoke memories. When going for a homelike design aesthetic, incorporate handmade or artisanal blankets, picture frames and other accessories to give the community individual flare and make it feel like a true home. If looking at a more transitional, hospitality-inspired design, look for unique throws, lamps and cushions that will create distinctive settings.
5. Select furniture materials that prevent wear
Scuffs & dings from wheelchairs & walkers can wreak havoc on wood furniture. Select furniture material that resists these, but also stands up to a regular cleaning schedule. Kwalu’s unique material creates a warm, wood-like feel while also providing a 10-year warranty that keeps your community looking like new.
6. Use products with stain resistance and moisture barrier
Nowadays this is a must-have. Look for Krypton fabrics that offer both stain resistance and moisture barriers, or separate coating processes e.g. Nanotex (stain resistance) and Durablock (moisture barrier). But make sure fabrics have a minimum of 30,000 double rubs to ensure that they have staying power for the senior living environment.
7. Use greenery indoors
Breathe life into your community by utilizing or changing out plants or extremely life like faux plants (assume they are dusted frequently!) But avoid berries on silk plants as these can often be mistaken for food.
8. Outdoor furniture
Change out your pillows and accent pieces every few years to keep things looking fresh and new at a minimal cost. And ensure you are buying furniture that uses mold-proof materials that are easy to clean and do not split, swell or require significant maintenance.