A senior care center is a commercial interior
space that needs to feel as residential as possible. Making design choices for senior living facilities requires striking a balance between helping your residents and their guests feel comfortable in their homes away from home and ensuring their safety. The furniture you choose impacts both. Here are six important factors to consider with choosing furniture for your senior healthcare facility:
Seniors are fragile in many ways. Many seniors experience impaired balance and poor eyesight, both of which make them prone to bumping into things, including furniture. Seniors also bruise easily, and their tender skin is all too susceptible to tears. With these things in mind, it’s easy to see that one critical feature of furniture in a senior living facility must be no-hurt shapes. Corners and edges need to be eased and rounded to minimize harm. Circular tables are preferable to rectangular ones. Glass should be avoided, as should bulky designs that impede traffic. And stay away from seating or tables that have legs that splay or curve out, as these are tripping hazards.
Since seniors struggle with balance and vision, they often use furniture to steady themselves as they move around the room. For that reason, every piece of furniture in a senior care facility must be sturdy and able to support the weight of someone leaning on it. And your seniors will use the arms on the chairs and sofas to help themselves get up, so those need to be strong as well.
Look for furniture with a reputation for a long life cycle that can withstand the rigors of your facility.
Soft, but Not Too Soft, Cushioning
You want seniors to be comfortable in your seating, especially since many older folks will stay seated for long periods of time. But chairs and sofas that are too soft are difficult to get out of, especially for seniors with limited core strength. Your best choices are seats with firm cushioning, low depth, armrests for support when standing, and that sits a bit lower to the ground than usual. These features will make it easier for seniors to stand up unassisted.
Resilient, Health Compliant Fabrics
Stuff is going to happen on your seating; it’s inevitable. All fabrics need to be easy to clean and low maintenance. They should also be stain resistant and wear-resistant.
Choosing fabrics that resist the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria is not only a good idea. It might also be the law. Fabric choices must be able to withstand harsh cleaners and have minimal seams or folds that might harbor infectious agents. In addition, healthcare facilities, including senior care centers, need to follow healthcare laws to prevent hospital-acquired infections. These laws often have fabric and furniture guidelines. In short, whatever fabric you choose, you’ve got to be able to keep it really, really clean.
Non-Distracting Colors and Patterns
This is another area that’s difficult to balance. The colors and patterns of your furnishings need to do a lot of things, including the following, which makes choosing the right ones critical to the success of your overall design:
- Help residents feel welcome and comfortable
- Create a pleasant, friendly atmosphere
- Offer a clear contrast to floors and walls to help with visibility
- Not confuse or distract residents struggling with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other similar conditions
To that end, it’s preferable to choose simple fabrics with subtle patterns that provide contrast but are not a distraction. Use colors that positively impact well-being and mental health and avoid complicated patterns that can appear three-dimensional, which can confuse folks with poor eyesight. If this seems overwhelming, be sure to talk to a team member at Indoff for help. We’ll help you make fabric selections that achieve all your design goals and create a safe and restful space.
When it comes to choosing furniture and finishing for common spaces in senior living communities, it’s important to do so with flexibility in mind. Common areas are used for a variety of functions. One night it’s Bingo, another, it’s a dance class, and on yet another night, the space could be reserved for a family birthday celebration. Having furniture that can easily be moved around makes life simpler for staff and guests. And incorporating styles and colors that work together throughout your facility will help your common areas maintain continuity of design regardless of how they’re configured at the moment.
To ensure your senior care community is outfitted with high-quality furniture, ask Indoff. Click here to find a local Indoff representative
who will guide you through product selection and interior design. We’ve helped healthcare clients across the nation find furniture that strikes the right balance between comfort and safety. We’ll work with you and get to know your space and then help you select styles and fabrics that meet all your goals.
Your residents’ and staff’s health, safety, and well-being depend on getting the right furniture for your space. At the end of the day, we know that while color and style are important, the furniture in your facility must provide comfort, safety, and durability. We’ll help you find commercial furniture that meets all healthcare requirements and yet still looks like it would fit in someone’s home.
If you’re designing a new facility or interested in sprucing up your existing facility, make Indoff your first call. Click here to view our portfolio and then reach out to a member of our team to get started. We’ll help you get every element of the design right.