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Current Accessibility Issues for Senior Homes Designs

1. What are the current accessibility issues which need to be address in the design of senior housing? Including adult communities (55 and older) CCRC's assisted living, skilled nursing and Dementia housing.

2. Answer should include information on design and function of housing including: accessibility of kitchens, appliances, lighting, bathrooms, storages and space utilization

3. With competition growing and higher end projects being develop how can older communities adapt there environments in order remain competitive?

4. What are some specific differences between standard designs and designs principles for older adults?

What should be considered when designing for the aging population?

Although this is a four part question each part is directly related

Please provide any links which will provide detailed descriptions and pictures with design concepts. Visuals will be very helpful in developing my project.

Thank you

Solution Preview

In today's environment, designing homes to make living easier is becoming increasingly important. Consequently, with the increased in the aging of today's population, builders are always looking for new ways to make homes more comfortable and attract prospects. One of the population groups most needed for this type of innovation is the aging population. Housing for this population presents several accessibility issues that must be addressed in order to fit the lifestyle of the individual regardless of the physical or mental condition the person is in. Therefore, older communities can adapt there environments in order remain competitive by providing an environment that is safe and accessible for not only the elderly, but also any other individuals that maybe using the residence at any point in time. If the surrounding of the residence is attractive to the elderly and her family members, that same residence will be more desirable, therefore more in demand than those with only the elderly in mind. Therefore, projects that take today's lifestyle, and perhaps lifestyles of the future, in consideration are sure to remain competitive. Overall, the accessibility issues for a comfortable senior home should include designs that address the following:

In the bathroom:

Sinks and Lavatories-The sink should be located at a height where it can be used comfortably by both a seating and standing individual. Single lever faucets, shower, and tub controls are best because they contain anti-scald temperature controls and are able to indicate the water temperature, and don't require fine hand dexterity to operate. Also, with a simple tap, they provide mixed water.
Grab bars-Stable support such as grab bars or tub edges conveniently located is critical to allow individuals to safely complete this independent transfer between different components of the bathroom (i.e. sink to bath tub). Most building codes require that grab bars be capable of withstanding a 250 pound load. The sheltering arm grab bar is best, as it surrounds the individual and provides support similar to the arm rest of a standard chair.
Shower Units-Accessibility standards require two types of showers in accessible facilities: roll-in showers and transfer showers. Roll-in showers provide an easy threshold that keeps water in the shower area. Transfer showers require that you transfer from your wheelchair to a seat in the shower compartment. The use of at least 5' of hose attached to the transfer shower head so that it can reach the end of the tub or shower is recommended.
Floor surfaces-Non-skid adhesive strips, flowers, or dots are a low-cost solution to the problem of slippery walking surfaces, both inside and outside of the bathing unit.
Grab Bars-Securely mounted grab bars or strong towel bars are necessary at places where a person may be off balance. They must be capable of supporting at least 250 pounds of force (more if anyone who is a frequent user of the facility weighs more than 200 ...

Solution Summary

Below is a compilation of the design requirements and accessibility issues for Senior Homes (CCRs, Assisted Livings, skilled nursing and Dementia housing). Builders can use this information to enhance their competitiveness.