Trends in Senior Living Communities Now and Post COVID

Several months ago, senior living communities were being consumed by the coronavirus. It was attacking seniors with compromised immune systems, especially those with underlying conditions; the most vulnerable. Communities raced to contain outbreaks and closed their doors to all visitors. As we approach the Fall, senior living is more determined than ever to regain the confidence of the communities they serve and reclaim their places of comfort and support for residents and staff.

A new smaller footprint for the future – Micro Communities

In addition to Independent, assisted and memory care, you may hear about a relatively new model for senior living called the micro community. This is a community that consists of a members-only group of seniors. It functions with a small staff and a few carefully sourced volunteers. Considering the potential for emerging threats, this is a resident-centered concept that can bode well for a safer future in senior living. Senior living has always been ready for a transition, switching seamlessly from the post-war institutional design of the early days of care and comfort to the more modern designs we see today.

Dining Preferences are the future of senior living

Many operators are adhering to social guidelines, and re-organizing space in large dining rooms to accommodate fewer people and increase the meal service seating times. Café, dining chairs and tables that can be easily cleaned between seating groups is the new normal. It adds peace of mind for all residents including those who choose to take meals in their rooms. Additionally, residents are taking advantage of dining outdoors when the weather cooperates or perusing simulated food courts and mini cafés to dine safely and comfortably in small groups to keep their social connection and distance. Small group dining or grab and go options may be the new normal for senior living, until all residents can safely dine in large groups once again.

Concierge level amenities and design

Electrostatic cleaning and quaternary cleaning products are all new words we have become familiar with because of COVID-19 hitting senior communities hard. None the less, keeping services going and design beautiful should not be an afterthought and becomes even more important when dealing with a pandemic. As design becomes more flexible to include social distancing so should the furniture you use in all areas of your community. Easy to clean and maintain is the new buzzword. Clean designs that can hold up to the rigors of harsh chemicals will not only maintain the beauty of the design, but also the look and feel of a safe community where small groups can gather and feel at home, not at risk.

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