As our loved ones get older, we may consider moving them into a nursing home so they can get the care they need. Senior living facilities, including independent living communities, assisted living communities, nursing homes, and memory care units are usually for those age 55 and older. They may have trouble getting around due to older age, or they could have a condition that requires around-the-clock care.
It’s important to make a nursing home inviting and warm for residents. After all, they are calling this facility home now. New residents may feel intimidated coming into the nursing home for the first time, which is why it’s important for it to be as welcoming as possible. The easier the transition, the better for residents and their families.
So, what improvements can you make? Turns out, there are multiple projects you can tackle. Here are ten things you must do during a nursing home renovation and why these projects are essential for the facility’s overall function.
Focus On Creating Personal Space
When doing a nursing home renovation, something you can do to set the nursing home apart from others is create personal space for residents. It’s important for residents to feel like they have a space they can call theirs in the nursing home, especially if it’s a larger facility. Some nursing homes may have residents share a room, so it becomes even more important to emphasize the need for personal space.
One way to create personal space for those in elderly care is to make sure their rooms have a bedroom set. This includes a full bed set, a side table, and a dresser. Residents can decorate this space with pictures of family or other items as they wish. The more they feel like they have their own space, the better. This is especially important if there are new residents in the nursing home. They’re likely not used to living in a facility with others, so making sure they have a space to call their own is essential.
Create An Inclusive Social Space
Another important aspect of a nursing home renovation is the importance of creating an inclusive social space. Remodeling companies working on renovations like this must understand that social interaction is incredibly important for nursing home residents. When residents are social with one another, it creates a sense of community and allows residents to make friends with one another. Sometimes, being in a nursing home is a tough adjustment for residents. However, creating an open space where everyone can socialize can help fight feelings of isolation and uncertainty.
When making renovations, create at least one large room and designate it as a living area. Make the room large enough to fit multiple people who may use wheelchairs or need assistance moving around. Include comfortable chairs, couches, and other furniture that makes residents feel comfortable. You could also install an entertainment center where residents can watch television and listen to music. You can also make room for games like chess and checkers.
Having a designated space where residents can gather will make a difference in their stay. They can bond with other residents in this social space and create lasting friendships with fellow residents and staff alike.
Consider Building a Memory Care Unit
As you work on a nursing home renovation, consider building a memory care unit for residents with conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you’re working on renovating a large nursing home, you may have the space to build the unit within the facility. However, it’s important to talk with the owner of the nursing home and discuss whether it’s feasible or not.
Typically, regular nursing homes offer services for assistance living for seniors. Residents may live as independently as they can with staff members helping them when needed. However, a memory care unit has more hands-on staff who help residents with day-to-day functions. Memory care units are also typically monitored more closely and have tighter security measures in case residents wander. These units may also do more activities that help with memory loss or aim to improve brain function. Memory care units can be beneficial for residents who suffer from memory loss or conditions where their memory deteriorates over time. However, it’s ultimately up to those who run the facility to decide whether or not the unit gets built.
Don’t Skip The Lighting
Lighting has a bigger impact on the overall aesthetic of a nursing home than you may realize. If the lighting is too dreary, residents and staff may feel depressed or dreary while they’re inside the nursing home. However, if the lighting is too bright, it could cause the residents and staff to get headaches.
When renovating a nursing home, make sure the lighting is just right. Also, make sure it’s consistent throughout the facility, from the elevators to the dining area. Contact everyone involved in the renovation, from the elevator company to the building contractors, to make sure the lighting is consistent throughout the facility.
The type of lighting you choose for the facility will partially be based on the facility’s style. If the nursing home has an elegant aesthetic, you’ll want to use lighting such as chandelier lights and elegant ceiling lights to stick with the aesthetic. When potential residents and their families tour the facility, the littlest things can influence their decision to move forward with the assisted living process. That’s why it’s crucial that everything (including the lighting) is the best it can be.
Update The Bathrooms
A project that can add a lot of value to your nursing home renovation is updating the bathrooms. An updated bathroom can upgrade the facility’s look while providing a better functioning space for residents. The old bathrooms may have inconvenient fixtures, such as showers that are hard to use or sinks that aren’t handicap accessible. You can install things like frameless shower enclosures and wheelchair accessible fixtures to ensure all residents are able to use them.
Be sure to keep state regulations in mind as you update the bathrooms. If you’re updating shared bathrooms, states may require there be a certain amount of toilets, bathtubs, and/or showers per number of residents. It’s also important to remember that residents are at risk of slipping and falling in the bathroom. When renovating, do what you can to reduce this risk.
Check The Safety Features
As you tackle a nursing home renovation from start to finish, you must check the safety features within the facilities. Residents, their families, and the facility’s staff are relying on the facility to be safe and secure. While renovating, make sure you check all the boxes when it comes to safety and security. Check the automatic fire sprinkler design to make sure it works properly and would protect residents and staff in the event of a fire. Double-check the HVAC installation process to ensure the heating and cooling system works properly and air can circulate correctly. Create spaces where the staff can keep first aid supplies and other medical supplies in case they’re needed.
Check with the nursing home’s leadership team to see if there are any state mandate safety and security measures that need to be implemented in the renovation. The last thing you want to do is finish the job and then not have everything up to code. Save the time and hassle by knowing what’s mandated from the very beginning.
Repaint The Interior
A small (but effective) thing to do for your nursing home renovation is to paint the interior. If the nursing home has outdated wallpaper or is painted a dingy color, it could make the residents and staff feel unenthused about being there. A fresh coat of paint can make a big difference with the nursing home’s look. A neutral color or a soft tone such as an off-white or a light blue can make the rooms look bigger and brighter, especially if there’s a lot of natural light in the rooms. You could also choose to paint residents’ rooms in different colors to give them a sense of individuality.
If you’re updating the interior, you can also update the exterior of the nursing home. Painting it a lighter shade can make it seem more welcoming, while a bolder color can make it stand out. Don’t forget to perform routine roofing services, gutter maintenance, and other exterior projects to keep the facility’s image looking clean and well-kept.
Invest In New Furnishings
Part of renovating a nursing home includes getting new furnishings for the facility. Getting new furniture for the nursing home will give the facility a fresh look and provide comfortable furnishings for the residents and staff. You can get new couches, lounge chairs, beds, and dining furniture for the nursing home. The more comfortable everyone is with their new furniture, the more likely they’ll feel comfortable in the facility.
You can also invest in new furnishings for the staff. You could get new office desks, chairs, and a new station for the medical staff. New furniture can boost staff morale and let employees know their work is appreciated. If you don’t know what kind of furniture the staff would like, be sure to talk to the facility’s supervisor for guidance.
Spruce Up The Landscaping
Something that can make your nursing home renovation stand out is sprucing up the nursing home’s landscaping. Cleaning up the yard and making it look well-kept can make it more appealing to the residents, their families, and the staff. If residents go for a walk around the premises, they can bask in the beautiful landscape while getting their daily exercise. It’s aesthetically pleasing for the residents and boosts the facility’s public appearance.
There are many ways to spruce up a nursing home’s landscaping. Flowers and gardens can be planted in the yard, along with trees and bushes. If the grass is looking yellow and frail, you can work on getting it back to a healthy green. If there are holes in the yard from animals digging, make sure they’re filled in. Having holes in the yard is a safety hazard for residents and staff, and it can make the yard look unkempt.
You can also see if it’s possible for residents to help with the landscaping if they’d like. The staff can establish garden nurseries where flowers can be kept until they’re mature. You could also set aside spaces for vegetable gardens that residents can help maintain. This will help make the landscaping look good while also providing another activity for residents to take part in.
Build an Effective Staff Space
One of the most important aspects of a nursing home renovation is building a space for the staff. This space should be effective, comfortable, and allow the staff to do their jobs well. This includes office space for administrative workers and work stations for the medical staff and aides. The office space should have decent sized rooms where employees can fit their office furniture and not feel cramped. There should also be room for those in IT services to come in and install internet routers and other necessary technical equipment so that patients don’t have to miss any telemedicine appointments.
Make sure you get an accurate idea of what the medical staff needs in terms of a workspace. They’ll have different needs than those of the office staff. Get as much input as you can before you start building the space so you can make it as effective as possible.
Doing a nursing home renovation is a rewarding project to take on. You get to renovate a facility that residents call home, and make it even more comfortable and effective for them. Even the smallest renovation can contribute to the facility’s overall improvement. New carpets, a fresh coat of paint, checking the safety features, and creating the appropriate workspaces will improve the facility and help it run more effectively.
When all is said and done, you’ll be renovating a space that residents call home. The improvements you make will help them feel more at home in the nursing home. The more comfortable they feel, the better — and your contributions will help both the residents and the staff feel comfortable the moment they walk through the door.
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