Assisted Living Facility Layout: A Comparison between Residence Types

By Emily Beuschel, Jeanneane Wood-Nartker, Katie Macgillivray and Stephanie Tripp.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.89-101. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 316.403KB).

Emily Beuschel

Student, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA

Emily Beuschel received her Bachelor of Science in interior design from Central Michigan University, with a minor in psychology. As an honors student, she has developed an interest in scholarly research, especially focusing on the design of older adult environments and the role of environmental psychology in this area. Emily gained practical experience in this particular field from a previous interior design internship specializing in older adult environments. She is eager to learn more about supporting the needs of current and future aging populations through design.

Jeanneane Wood-Nartker

Professor, Department of Human Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA

Jeanneane Wood-Nartker, Ph.D. is a professor with Central Michigan University where she has taught interior design for twenty-five years. She received her Ph.D. in interior design from the University of Minnesota. In particular, Jeanneane enjoys researching and designing supportive environments for older adults and children. She enjoys the opportunity to work outside of class with students on projects that help them to develop their skills over and above classroom assignments. The work is fulfilling to her because many students desire to learn more, and can do so much when they take the opportunity to “stretch”; working with Emily is one of example of this.

Katie Macgillivray

Katie graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in interior design and minoring in art and construction management.

Stephanie Tripp

Stephanie graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in interior design with a minor in entrepreneurship.