A retirement home should consist of a wide-space living area for the slow-moving elderly, with soft-edged and easy-to-use appliances and with carefully installed lightings in all corners to ensure safety at all times.
These are the few things to consider in renovating a retirement place for senior citizens. Let’s go further.
A study conducted by The Residential Care for the Elderly shows about 800,000 to a million elderly people in the United States who reside in a licensed supportive housing, which is also known as assisted living or residential care. There is a thought that the same number is also living in unlicensed elderly homes.
Relative to that, California’s licensed senior facilities include small family homes, foster family homes, social rehabilitation facilities, group homes, and residential care facilities. There are fewer than seven senior residents in most of the 6,000 licensed residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) in California. A reported figure of about 6 percent of these facilities have more than 100 beds, and most of their RCFEs in California are private and for-profit operations.
According to Provider Magazine, the priority during construction and renovation is nothing but the safety of the elderly patients and residents and the necessary plans and actions needed to keep them all from harm. And with that said, it is important to be in partnership with a general contractor, who can be very much trusted and can produce results out of the collaborated ideas that will meet the overall satisfaction of the staff, the residents, and their families.
Here are the listed 5 Tips in Helping to a Successful Renovation of a Senior Living Facility:
- Start with a Plan
There are many construction companies with experience in handling a senior living facility that will help with the allotted budget while ensuring safety with a senior-friendly design and decoration. Remember, every single decision matters. Chairs should offer comfort and can be easily moved in and out of a room or somewhere else. Bathrooms should have senior-appropriate heights, and the list goes on.
It is important to keep the interiors appealing and long-lasting to be enjoyed by the residents. However, the goal is to stick within the allocated budget and not “over-renovating” the facility.
- Communicate with the involved Residents
The residents must be involved in building renovation to establish a working environment that is full of trust. It is important for the staff and the residents that they trust the people they are working with. Residents would also be pleased to be involved in the construction and renovation process; that is why a small meeting will matter to answer a few questions from the staff and the residents that may affect their way of living with the ongoing construction and their way of living after the renovation. When the opinions and suggestions are put together, the expected result shall favor the staff and the residents. That is why open and real-time communication is a must.
- Consider a touch of technology in the facility.
One integral part of construction management is selecting the much-needed medium of entertainment and communication between the residents and their families outside the facility. Many high-end senior living facilities have upgraded to a more exciting place by adding features and amenities that are helpful to the residents, such as an ice-cream corner, a country store, a post office, and a theatre room.
Some senior living facilities have improved their theatre room with comfortable seating, beautifully hanging curtains, concession stands on the side, an area for some popcorn and refreshments, with the latest big screen or television for a much clearer view and detail of the movie and the like. And yes, the style and design could be much better than what a typical movie theatre in the mall has.
Similarly, the importance of having computers may also be considered for all the residents to encourage them to communicate and connect with their family members through e-mail and other social media platforms. Seeing their family’s pictures on a picnic out of town over the internet makes the distance feel nearer and time shorter than without having any of it at all.
- Provide a comfortable, less noise environment
While the construction or renovation process is ongoing, it will be temporarily hard for the residents to move or do their activities of daily living. However, being in-the-know of the resident’s schedule of such activities will help improve the level of comfort without causing any delay in the renovation. It also pays to ensure that all the dust, vibration, and noise involved in the work will be controlled.
- Regular evaluation of the facility
When the renovation has been completed, the facility should have its maintenance through a routine evaluation for any signs of wear and tear and any possibility of necessary repair for at least six months to a year. Staying ahead of the problems saves time and money and prevents the facility from looking worn out, which may create a negative impact on keeping the residents. It is important to establish a reserve fund for this purpose to maintain high-quality comfort and safety for the staff and their residents while staying in the facility.
The Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA)
Another important consideration in connection with the residents’ safety is the observance of the matrix of precautions enumerated in The Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA). The ICRA matrix was originally developed for hospital use only. However, it is now required to be utilized when renovating or constructing short or long-term senior care facilities because they both share many similar characteristics. The considerations included in the ICRA matrix are:
- The impact of interrupting important activities to patients and employees;
- Identification of the potential hazards and the necessary protection for each;
- Assessment of the internal and external activities while the construction is ongoing; and
- Assessment of locations and properly address the identified hazards.
Renovating a facility for the elderly is a serious process that also requires full planning and coordination with the general contractor, who must also be very sensitive to the residents’ needs for occupied facilities. Remember that the top priority for a senior living facility is its residents’ safety.