senior housing apartment future-proofed with technology symbols

Future-proofing senior housing developments

Innovative senior housing design can make all the difference. Here’s how.

As senior housing industry professionals, we know and can make an educated guess about the trajectory of many aspects of the senior living sector. This intel, based on projections and expert analysis, enables owner/developers and investors to make data-driven decisions about what to build, where to build in La Crosse, WI, Rochester, MN or beyond, and how to design their senior living communities. Among the questions of greatest concern for any investor is how to build and design senior housing so it can be responsive to trends. By doing so, a developer can future-proof their senior living community, ensuring its viability amid inevitable changes.

Benefits of the design and build model of construction for senior living

The design-build construction model is ideal for thoughtfully approaching a senior living commercial construction project and designing to incorporate agility into the facility’s lifecycle. So many aspects of change cannot be anticipated; for example, the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the myriad ways the senior housing sector managed the pandemic. Simply put, there were mountains to climb that the industry had never encountered to that degree in the past. With this experience in mind, and as we look to the road ahead, the benefits of future-proofing senior living communities are optimal and indisputable. By partnering with a trusted design and build firm, you can rest assured the entire project team works as a single unit, with everyone moving in tandem toward shared goals. Gone are the concerns regarding costly change orders and schedule. You can rest assured everyone on the project team has future-proofing in their sights and is working toward that vision.

An overview of future-proofing possibilities for senior housing

To future-proof your senior living commercial construction project, it’s important to take into consideration many aspects of the industry, including wellness and lifestyle, your workforce needs now and in the future, the integration of technology in the short and long term, as well as the built and unbuilt environment. All of these components of senior living are key to discussions about future-proofing, whether you are building a facility for independent living, memory care, assisted living or nursing care. Industry insiders know changes to existing care models, as well as technology, fee structures, and operations, are likely on the horizon. It’s complex, even overwhelming, to consider every possible aspect of change, but your design and build team can help you future-proof the built environment. Here are some of the future-proofing approaches to senior housing today that can ensure the viability of the enterprise down the road.

  • Design and build with a focus on sustainable building and green solutions to optimize operations and control costs. Anticipating climate-related regulations and building to position you for anticipated changes will also attract a market segment seeking environmentally friendly housing solutions.
  • Plan for flexibility. Designing spaces so they can be quickly adapted to different uses is a valuable way to build agility and future-proof your facility. Perhaps residents want a yoga class in the morning and a cooking class at night, with a gathering area for coffee at midday. Working with a design-build team will allow you to tap the expertise of designers who understand the value and importance of room adaptability in a senior living facility.
  • Design for technology. While it’s hard to know the exact form technology will take in the future, we do know it is and will continue to be an inextricable part of the senior living and care environment. Deciding which technology is right for your organization is a deeper conversation, but overall, it’s advisable to plan for growing technological demands and functionality of personal technologies and design the facility’s infrastructure accordingly, including electricity, WIFI, and communication systems. Here are some specific technological matters to consider.
  • E-commerce continues to grow, and deliveries of goods, including clothing, supplies, and food, show no sign of slowing, so designing your senior living facility with those needs in mind will position you well for the needs of your residents. The old-school mail room will no longer suffice, but your design-build team can help develop innovative approaches to providing the right space for these delivery needs.
  • Touchless tech is important throughout buildings, including restrooms, entry doors, and even in rooms for residents with different abilities. In addition to providing convenience and practicality, touchless technology can also assist with the mitigation of disease spread, ensuring the health and safety of both staff and residents.
  • Virtual healthcare offerings are booming and require space. Telehealth tech continues to grow in prevalence and scope, and for an aging population, having the technology in place to allow virtual appointments can be highly valued. Additionally, depending on the level of care your facility will provide, it may be helpful to outfit spaces with remote technology to monitor residents or patients for blood pressure changes and other biomarkers.
  • Remember the importance of unplugging. With all of the tech advances, it’s getting harder and harder for staff and tenants to find a space unencumbered by connectivity. Your design and build team can offer solutions to provide an oasis for reading, walking, or resting.
Future-proofing senior housing starts with design-build

Anticipating the future needs of the senior living community environment isn’t easy, but partnering with a reputable design and build group grants you access to experts who know how to plan for the industry’s evolution. So when changes or trends compel you to adapt to remain competitive in the marketplace, you and your facility are ready to rise to the occasion. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you design and build a future-proof senior living community.