Seniors Housing Business

AUG-SEP 2018

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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50 Seniors Housing Business n August-September 2018 By Lynn Peisner Interior design trends in seniors housing reflect a changing psychology of aging. Build- ing exteriors are no longer modeled after stately, formal mansions adorned with Corin- thian columns. Instead, they open up to the outdoors and to their communities, like wel- coming but elegant resorts. If only one word could summarize the spirit of today's interior design it would be "inclu- sion." Owners want communities that are designed to be inclusive of all generations of a resident's family. Playgrounds and game rooms entertain the grandchildren while onsite ameni- ties invite mother-daughter spa days. "As cliché as it sounds, we wanted to make 'grandma's house' cool and a place family members were excited about visiting," says Jesse Marinko, president and CEO of Roswell, Georgia-based Phoenix Senior Living (PSL). PSL owns and manages 17 properties in the Southeast, but The Phoenix at Milton was its first ground-up development. The commu- nity, which opened in 2017, offers 67 units of assisted living and 19 memory care units. Marinko was inspired by his personal experi- ences of visiting his own grandmother at PSL's Dunwoody, Georgia, location to push the enve- lope in Milton alongside his interior design firm, Marietta, Georgia-based Banko Design. "Visiting my grandmother at that property with my three small children really opened my eyes," he says. "We had to change the way fam- ilies viewed our properties." This meant creating spaces for children to engage in activities via playgrounds, intergen- erational game rooms and children's tables in the dining room. Walking paths around the property encourage children to take a stroll with their parents, and the Wi-Fi signal is strong and steady throughout the property. While Wi-Fi is not an interior design detail per se, it complements a community's pro- gramming objectives. Speedy Wi-Fi is a perk that families always appreciate and can even encourage them to visit for longer periods of time. "In the past, you would see family mem- bers pick up the senior and take them out, as opposed to today's more concierge-type ser- vices that make the communities for all to enjoy the amenities," says Claudine Begay, director of design for Dallas-based Faulkner Design Group. The firm primarily works directly with developers of for-profit and non- profit communities across the United States, designing all levels of care. Begay says residents want more options for dining, entertainment and other activities, including family-focused programming and amenities on-site. "'Intergenerational design' is a buzz phrase right now," says Melissa Spaeth Banko, princi- pal of Banko Design. "We focus on designing spaces where all ages feel comfortable, but we also want it to be organic and to feel natural. We don't want it to feel planned out. We don't want residents or visitors to feel like they have to follow a program." Banko says putting this idea to work means creating spaces where spontaneous social interactions can easily occur. Her designs also subtly encourage mobility. Amenities are pep- pered throughout the building layout with small landing nooks throughout, all of which circle around central main amenities. "It creates a great little track for our residents to freely bump into each other." Architecturally, common area spaces are being turned outward to invite non-resident Aging with Style n Design Interior designers are creating environments that support a resident's whole family and community. Spellman Brady & Co. completed the repositioning of Kingswood Senior Living in Kansas City, Missouri, in July 2017. The rooftop garden added an amenity venue that allows owners to stay competitive with seniors who want modern design. Banko Design strives for organic, natural spaces, where whole families are comfortable and don't feel they have to follow a 'program.' This dining area at The Phoenix at Union Hill, independent living in Canton, Georgia, exemplifies the concept.

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