As jolting as the transition to assisted living can be for a person, friends and family members can help to ease that transition by collaborating with the resident in designing their new living space. That’s the message OZ Architecture senior associate and interior design project manager Julia Bailey conveys in a newly published article in U.S. News & World Report.
“Moving into assisted living often can feel like a loss of independence and privacy for your loved one, but thoughtful interior design can go a long way toward improving happiness and well-being for the resident, as well as improving overall functionality of the new living space,” Bailey says in the article, which goes on to list 11 decorating tips to make assisted living spaces more welcoming and safer. Among her suggestions:
Involve your loved one in design details. “Give the resident some say over which photos, keepsakes and personal items to move to their new residence, and where to place them once they arrive,” she advises. “Letting your loved one help with the smaller aspects of designing his or her new space can help increase their sense of involvement, pride and ownership of their new home.”
Include personal touches. “Adding your own personal touches will improve your happiness in any space where you will be spending a lot of time,” Bailey explains.Organize to promote convenience. “Make sure the resident has easy access to the exterior environment or community spaces shared with others,” she says in the article. “Also, think carefully about the layout and furniture placement in the space — make sure rooms and hallways are easy to navigate.” And, be sure to consider issues with mobility, vision, memory, etc. For example, put items the person uses regularly on easy-to-reach shelves that don’t require bending or stretching.