Specifying Furniture for Senior Living and Assisted Living Communities

May, 2019

There are many decisions to be made when designing a space for senior living. From how to make it feel like home, to ensuring a connection to the community and choosing suitable furnishings. Although all of these considerations are important, specifying furniture for senior living can impact residents by retaining their dignity, keeping them safe and providing a desired home-like atmosphere.

Dignity and Choice
Furniture for senior living communities should provide dignity and choice. There are many ways this is achieved. Specifying seating with ingress and egress arms can help residents get in and out of seats with minimal physical effort. Residents are given a choice by offering different seating options, including a variety of lounge chairs, two-seater, and three-seater sofas. Lounge seating with high backs can also be specified to promote private visits with relatives and friends.

 Safety and Accessibility
Furniture for senior living communities should promote safety and accessibility. A chair with a sturdy firm seat, armrest and highback can help residents safely get in and out of the chair. Chairs can also aid in fall prevention, providing seniors with a spot to place their hand if they lose their balance while walking. Footstools can be used by residents to prop up their legs for better circulation; bright upholstery will ensure the resident doesn’t confuse the stool with objects on the floor.
In the dining area, tables that are height-adjustable can help with wheelchair accessibility as well as other disabilities. Dining chairs with casters installed on the front legs can safeguard residents from rolling away while seated. Furniture for senior living with rounded edges provides the safest environment, as sharp edges can cause harm to residents in case of a fall or loss of balance.

Aesthetics and Finishes
Furniture for senior living communities should be aesthetically pleasing with suitable finishes. Creating a home-like environment includes selecting the appropriate soft and homey finish. Care should be given to choosing suitable fabrics as furniture is subject to spills, soils, and stains. Materials should be cleanable, easy to maintain and smooth. They should also be moisture and water resistant. The fabric swatch selected should resonate with residence; providing them with a sense of comfort. Wood finishes are preferred, as they offer a home-like feel, strength and natural antimicrobial properties.

Although specifying furniture for senior living communities is only one small facet of the overall design process, it’s importance is obvious. Using a supplier that understands the furniture requirements of senior living communities is beneficial to achieving a dignified, safe, home-like environment.