Trends in Senior Living Design for a Brighter New Year and Beyond

A new year is always filled with hope for a brighter day. Expectations are very high for 2021 following the troublesome and challenging 2020. The projected trends for this year are all focused on wellbeing in senior living, one of the hardest hit locales in the pandemic. COVID-19 accelerated a fresh focus on wellbeing-based design, a trend that was inevitable sooner or later. Renovate to repurpose existing rooms for residents and their families. And keep in mind, the most important features for senior living 2021 design are cleanability and durability of the furniture in those spaces.

1. Surfaces for now and beyond COVID

The new more virulent variant of the coronavirus spreads quicker. Also spreading, is the urgent need for better surfaces throughout senior living communities. As senior living furniture is touched frequently, surfaces that maintain their good looks while being cleaned hourly are in high demand. Tables and chairs that are made of a non-porous material that can more than handle constant cleaning and look like new. This is a trend that is going to be the standard as senior living communities continue to provide safer environments for their residents.

2. Imagine a common space as a social and technology hub

Senior living communities are installing new filtration systems throughout that provide consistent outdoor air circulation instead of recycled air. Designated social pods are emerging to facilitate distancing while residents remain social. These safe gathering areas are flexible, suitable for games, and they are spaces where seniors can work on emails and other technology.

3. Design for outside spaces

During 2020 many seniors were kept inside, away from family and friends. The need for indoor/outdoor space has become a very necessary trend for 2021. Senior living communities are creating flexible spaces to enable seniors to experience the great outdoors in self contained areas like balconies and ground floor patios. When they are outside seniors can maintain safe distances and engage in small group activities. Senior living designers and operators require the furniture used in outside spaces to be easy to clean. The furniture trend in senior living outdoor spaces, similar to indoor furniture design is quickly moving away from intricate woodwork and textured fabrics as they are more difficult to clean and disinfect. Furniture with smooth, non-porous finishes is the desired trend today and beyond.

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