Research and studies clearly show that the physical environment has an impact on people's well-being and quality of life. But does this research reach planners of new residential care facilities? In modern care environments, the focus needs to be on the individual. Therefore, the interior design solution must be based on the unique needs and conditions of the facility. To create sustainable and health-promoting care environments, the knowledge and experience of many different stakeholders must be considered and the right demands must be put on the interior design. Not until then are health economic effects achieved.
With our experience, we see four clear phases that involve all stakeholders in the project, always based on the specific operation and with the individual at the center. To help those of you who are planning interior design for care environments, we have developed a tool we call Next Care®, read more about this.
At Kinnarps we continuously collaborate with leading experts, researchers and staff in healthcare. We have interviewed some of them about the physical environments of care, with a focus on residential care facilities for the elderly. We have also taken a closer look at three specific care environments - an entrance, a dining area and a living room. Around them, we have created inspiring examples of what we see as health-promoting and sustainable interior design solutions.
Professor in nursing with a focus on care environment and care for the elderly
"To start with, the function and purpose of the environment should always be formulated. Health is subjectively experienced and means different things to different people. Understanding the target group, listening to the residents and involving and including all those who are impacted, are all a must."
Read the entire interview with Helle and take part in her tips
Expert in the field of dementia
"A physical environment that smells nice, is aesthetically pleasing and is welcoming signals that the person living in it is worthy of having nice surroundings. It can also contribute to lowering blood pressure and reducing the need for pain treatment."
Read the entire interview with Gun and take part in her tips
Project manager, Hammarö municipality
"Furnishings are absolutely vital for how the facility is perceived; they give the environment its feel. I view furniture companies more as partners than suppliers, people you can talk to and exchange knowledge and ideas with."
Read the entire interview with Annika and take part in her tips
Read more about how the physical environment can affect the quality of life in residential care facilities - browse our latest magazine
Your first impression of a care environment comes from the entrance. Here, the interior design makes everyone feel welcome and included and portrays the vision of the organisation.
During meals, all the senses can be stimulated. Here, aesthetics, smells, tactile materials and adapted acoustic levels come together to enhance meal-time tranquillity and flavours.
There are great opportunities for making the living room feel like home. This is a place for collaboration, social interaction and a good quality of life.
The existing retirement home was too small, so Hammarö municipality decided to build a new one. The Djupängen planning phase gave an opportunity to think about functionality and aesthetics, from scratch. With the help of the Kinnarps Next Care® concept, Djupängen now has a physical environment that improves the quality of life of the elderly residents, frees up time for staff to dedicate to nursing and gives the municipality a reason to feel proud of their investment.
Read more and see more inspiring images from djupängen