Designs in long-term care facilities impact quality of life for residents and staff. To that end, this pilot study compared the environmental design preferences of assisted living facility (ALF) directors, relating Green House facility types and Eshelman’s Apartment Living to traditional facility layouts (e.g. ALFs and nursing homes). Environmental criteria impacting the quality of life for ALF residents and staff was consolidated into a survey where ALF directors ranked seven design characteristics based on importance: home-like environment, resident personalization and socialization, guest comfort, staff functions, ease of maintenance, and safety. Using these characteristics, directors rated the four facility layouts. The Green House layout received the highest individual and cumulative scores, especially in resident personalization/socialization and home-like environment. It also ranked highest for ease of maintenance and staff functions, although no layout had strong scores in these categories. Results indicate that directors prefer less traditional facility layouts for meeting current resident and staff needs. In addition, although the Green House layout is viable in terms of meeting residents’ psychological needs, it may not fully support staff needs. When planning a new ALF, the Green House design should be considered as an alternative to more traditional facility layouts. Future research should continue development of holistic designs that satisfy the needs of both staff and residents.
|Keywords:||Assisted Living Facilities, Elder Care, Preferences, Green House Design, Personalization, Socialization, Safety, Privacy, Space Planning, Facility Design, Gerontology, Environment|
Student, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA
Professor, Department of Human Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA