Over 40 percent of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 have been nursing home residents. Outdated nursing home designs played a part in that number. Amenta Emma principal Myles Brown wrote an article for The CT Mirror about how future generations of nursing home residents won’t suffer the same consequences. The future of nursing home design is now.
Sunlight and nature should no longer be considered a luxury. Wheelchair gardening in a second-floor courtyard should be possible. “Robot doctors” will roam the halls and vital checks can be done remotely. And, perhaps most importantly for residents, single-occupancy rooms will become the norm. Roommates are for college kids.
“Having one main common area used to be considered sufficient, but living in the COVID-19 era has exposed the need for a wider range of common spaces that accommodate diverse resident needs and experiences,” Myles writes. “Are there spaces for small gatherings as well as large? Does each floor or wing have a natural space for social contact? Is there an outdoor space where residents can congregate? Does the space help facilitate communal activities — both planned and spontaneous — for residents in wheelchairs? These are some of the questions designers are increasingly asking.”