Expect to see larger community spaces and built-in infection control measures in both new and existing senior residential facilities as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, several studies say.
“New communities are opening with increasingly sophisticated infection control measures built in,” reports the Senior Housing News of a trend that has gathered steam in the months since the spread of the pandemic.
Such facilities are also additionally seeing the construction of outdoor living rooms bordered with plexiglass, allowing for safe visitation events.
Other features include the use of electrostatic foggers used for surface and air cleaning, as well as dedicated Skype and quarantine rooms.
While still maintaining the aura of residential living, many senior facilities currently in the planning stage are also incorporating more hospital-oriented features in their design.
A new report, Strategies for Safer Senior Living Communities, issued by the American Institute of Architects, additionally suggests touchless access at common doors, adding: “Other common equipment and accessories, such as toilets paper towel and soap dispensers, and sanitizing stations, can be made touchless.”
The AIA report additionally recommends that while senior facility managers should always have an abundance of masks and hand sanitizing wipes on hand, they should also regularly evaluate heating, cooling, and air exchange and filtration systems, “particularly in common area, versus individual systems in apartment/dwelling units.”
An example of the emphasis on air quality is seen in the design of a new 83-unit senior living community in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.
The $24 million complex, to be built by the Koru Health group, is expected to be completed later this year and will include the same kind of hospital-grade air purification systems increasingly used in medical centers and clinics.
By Garry Boulard
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