A recent report Professor Alan Pert in “The Conversation” addressed the idea that architecture, or the way that a property is built, might be able to change the way that people feel. According to Pert, some people are naturally more sensitive to the way a place feels than others. This is an aspect of the universal design and inclusion concept that many architects need to consider.
If you think about how you feel when you walk into a friend’s home, compared to how you feel when you visit a clinic or hospital, you’ll realise that the emotional impact is very different. In today’s technological age, it’s easy to forget about the little things in a room or building that can make people feel more comfortable and welcome.
While all architects need to consider the “feel” of a space when they’re building environments for universal inclusion, it’s particularly important to take this factor into account when designing a care facility. Care homes and environments for seniors or people with mobility issues need to make people in their most vulnerable moments feel as comfortable as possible.
Creating a More Comfortable Environment
So, how can architects make sure that they’re designing emotionally nurturing spaces for people who are seeking care and support in their later years? There are a number of options available. For instance, simple decisions, like decorating with warmer and more appealing colours can make a huge difference. Comfortable furniture is important too, as well as plenty of open spaces where people can communicate and interact with others.
One particularly important consideration is making sure that the residents in a care environment can be well cared for and protected, without feeling like their privacy is restricted. For instance, in a recent collaboration with Horton House, HLS healthcare worked to create a comfortable and welcoming facility that takes a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, without compromising on user privacy.
The Horton House environment needed a way to ensure that they could care consistently for residents, without having to worry about things like harming a resident’s privacy with constant monitoring or recording. The Elsi Smart floor technology suggested by HLS healthcare means that Horton House can now consistently keep track of their residents, without watching them. The smart floor monitors the movements of residents and alerts care providers when they need assistance. However, there’s no CCTV or cameras getting in the way of residents living their life as normal.
The programmable smart floors are intuitive and unique. They discreetly monitor the movements of patients and ensure that falls are detected instantly to manage the comfort and safety of every user. The sensor floor in each bedroom can even be programmed according to the clinical needs of each individual user. This means that the staff doesn’t have to be intrusive to help.
Changing The Way We Approach Design
With a focus on making people feel as comfortable and natural as possible in aged care facilities, architects and building owners can ensure that they’re driving better experiences for the people who need them. In their later years, seniors don’t want to have to worry about the embarrassment of constantly being watched when they’re in their own bedroom.
A sensor floor, like the one implemented by Horton House, can eliminate this problem, without asking a care facility to compromise on the level of care given to patients. Carers can continue to keep track of the people who need help, while making people feel as safe and natural as they do in their own home.