At each stage in a person’s life they need food, water and shelter. Perhaps the biggest factor as people age is where they will call home. In 2029, the youngest Baby Boomers (those born between 1946-1964) will turn 65 years old, and they will represent 20 percent of the U.S. population (approximately 19 million people). With 70 percent of seniors over age 65 requiring some form of long-term care, as a project manager, it’s important to consider how senior living trends can impact project planning and execution.
How Senior Living Trends are Changing
Perhaps one of the largest changes are the overall layout and building design of senior living facilities. The focus has shifted towards a more comfortable, “homey” atmosphere, while maintaining high-quality care. Many senior living communities have started to implement communal, condo-style living quarters to help establish a larger sense of community. Additionally, many senior communities are offering a larger variety of activities that promote lifelong activity and learning, such as gyms, libraries and even on-site breweries.
As society gravitates more and more towards a digital world, so have senior living trends. Many facilities now offer wireless internet, computer training programs and large digital signage to display community activity schedules and announcements. For those suffering from dementia or other illnesses affecting memory, living facilities have also begun using geo-fencing and small GPS devices. In addition, facilities are beginning to use electronic records to manage resident medical care, billing, payroll, scheduling and care plan creation.
What Senior Living Trends Mean for Construction Planning
Architects and designers have a big job. Not only do they need to create a building plan that includes all of the amenities and offerings of a traditional living facility (e.g., chapels, medical and administrative offices, etc.), but they also need to include additional amenities in an efficient, well-designed layout.
Another senior living trend to consider is a push towards a more environmentally-friendly society. With an ever-growing “green” mindset, more communities are embracing measures that will increase their efficiency and less their harmful global impact. According to The Senior List, facilities planning to focus on green living will need to take several measures in their operations and building construction plans, including:
- Meeting EPA Energy Star standards
- Improving indoor air quality
- Practicing water conservation
- Improving weatherization of all facility buildings
- Utilizing renewable energy resources
Creating a Solid Foundation for Seniors
No matter what age, people need a safe, secure place to call home, starting from the bottom up. Because Colorado is prone to soil issues, including expanding and collapsing soil, it’s important to start your building plan on strong ground, beginning with the foundation. RMG recommends using an innovative elevated foundation system, Tella Firma to build a community with a solid foundation for adaptation to senior living trends.
Tella Firma uses a proven, patented process of elevation a slab-on-grade foundation above the ground to create a protective void. This innovation isolates the slab, helping protect it from damaging soil swells, contractions, and movement. The elevated foundation creates space between the foundation and underlying soil, so that soil swells, and collapses cannot exert pressure on and damage the structure. Tella Firma is also an environmentally-friendly foundation solution, requiring no water or chemical injections into the soil.
Are you in the beginning stages of a large-scale construction project? Schedule your Tella Firma consultation today!