1 Victor Regnier

Resident Expectations Will Change Resident demand will increase while providers will continue to focus on care. Providers can expect to strength-  there’s no crystal ball to reveal the future, emerging trends today are pointing senior living providers in a number of directions.


ictor Regnier FAIA, professor of architecture and geron- tology at the University of Southern California, has seen countless trends come and go. A well-known expert in

senior living design, Regnier points to a fundamental truth: “We need more emphasis on people and less on things and services.” Technology is creating some of the biggest changes in resident

expectations. “Most older people want autonomy with support at the margin of need. Assisted living tends to over-support rather than challenge the older person to do things for themselves.” He expects changes in technology “to make it much easier for the physically frail to stay at home or in a purpose-built, age-restrict- ed housing unit at a lower cost that in assisted living.” He also predicts that residents will expect larger spaces. In Denmark, skilled nursing units are 500 square feet. “People want to live surrounded by familiar objects and photos, including some furniture--not in an anonymous environment.” These larger spaces will spur increased emphasis on meaningful activities, including better use of outdoor space and celebration of life, Regnier continues. Larger dining rooms and outside spaces will accommodate family members and friends. Larger units will en- able an overnight stay and more personal items. “A simple idea like a window seat that transforms into a bed can provide all kinds of possibilities for an overnight stay,” he says.

Memory care needs are increasing, spurring the need for innova-

tion. Rethinking how to operate with 75 percent of residents experi- encing dementia, rather than the current 40 percent will require new  care that enables people to live longer with impairment, or experience the status quo,” he says. “Northern European nursing homes/assisted living are now often 75 percent moderate to severe dementia, while the most physically frail—and [those with] light to moderate dementia— live in an independent unit with light to extensive home care, based on need.” Newer care models, such as the the Hogeweyk Dementia Village ( designed for people with severe dementia, utilize small group clusters and are very family  and lifestyle-related activities. Models like this will be aided by technol- ogy and will become more attractive to U.S. providers.” “Older people want more quality—not quantity,” continues

Regnier, whose new book is titled Housing Design for an Increasingly Older Population (2017, Wiley Press). “We don't need a bigger TV  care and sensitivity is what I think is the secret to success--now and in the future.” Integral Senior Living sees a demand for more resort-style

communities. Among its recent communities is a 68-apartment San Antonio residence featuring Spanish Mediterranean style architecture and 4.6 acres of landscaped grounds. CEO/COO Collette Valentine, who is also an Argentum board member, expects a dining savvy, high-tech clientele in the future. “Residents are going to expect more dining options, including

 she explains. “Gone are the days of breakfast between 7 and 8:30, lunch from 11:30 to 12:30, and dinner from 5:00 to 6:00, with only one seating at each meal.” To address these changing expectations, communities will need additional dining venues rather than a single main dining room.” Residents’ comfort with technology also will require a new

response. “Residents will want access to computers in the com- munity and Wi-Fi throughout the buildings.” She expects built-in high-speed Wi-Fi and Internet cafes. “This is a great opportunity   on a computer to check email, and socialize with one another.” Continued on page 28


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