March 22, 2019 Property

How care homes might look in 10 years time

There’s no doubt that the care industry will see advancements and changes in the future. While it’s difficult to predict the trajectory or pace of these changes, it can be fruitful to think about the impact they might have — particularly from a planning perspective.

Technology
Smart technology can have small and large scale benefits. A care home even ten years from now could include a swathe of technological improvements to help everyday life. This can be achieved by subtly integrating smart technology as a supplement to life in a care home — rather than an overwhelming focus.
Examples could include:
● Daily tablet/smartphone reminders to help with medication or to establish daily routines
● In-built sensors to provide guidance and context-sensitive reminders in specific areas
● Electronic tags used to locate frequently misplaced items (phones, keys, etc.)
● Smart lighting to dynamically aid sleep, comfort, eye strain and visibility

Community
Care homes commonly have communal and leisure areas where residents can socialise, but in the future, care homes may lean more heavily into the retirement village mould. In the next ten years — and beyond — shifting the image of residential care to push a strong feeling of ‘inclusive community’ could be immensely impactful.
A care home shouldn’t feel segregated from society, and technology can help here, too, with tablets and smartphones allowing for 24 hour video communication between residents and family. A community focus helps to combat loneliness, and will make the adjustment to residential care much easier — which should be a central aim in the future.

Accessibility and wellbeing
Care home design over the next ten years — and beyond — will be well-served by focusing on the synergy between physical and mental wellbeing.
Of course, new care homes will have to be designed with soaring demand in mind, providing ample space for residents with varying accessibility issues. Exercise routines and mental health support will also need to be as inclusive as possible, while integrated technology — especially used for wayfinding or personal support — should fit seamlessly with a more open, independent design philosophy.

At Aedifice Partnership, we manage new care home construction as well as refurbishment projects throughout the UK. For further details on the services Aedifice Partnership offer, visit www.aedifice.co.uk or call 0800 151 0234.

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