20 May, 2019 | Written by Premis

Adaptable Design for an Ageing Population

Many aged care facilities are rethinking typical design features you’d find in regular buildings in order to improve safety and comfort for their residents.

This adaptable design approach is about changing seemingly small details – like switching out doorknobs for door handles – that can have a big impact on residents’ day-to-day lives.

So, in this blog, we explore a few simple adaptable design features you can incorporate in your next aged care refurbishment or building project.


Falls prevention is a key outcome when designing for an ageing population. And an obvious place to start is stairs.

Wherever possible, aged care facilities should be entirely stair-free. This includes both indoors and outdoors.

As many outdoor staircases tend to feature a small number of steps, these can be easily replaced with wide, gradually sloping ramps accompanied by sturdy handrails.

Hallways and Doorways

Aged care and assisted living homes should have wider hallways and doorways than regular homes. This makes it easier for residents who use walkers or wheelchairs to move around.

Speaking of doorways, it’s also advisable to replace doorknobs with door handles, as handles are significantly easier to operate. This is an example of a small adaption that can have big benefits for your residents.


As people age, their sight begins to fail. As such, extensive lighting is important for ensuring unobstructed views and improving safety for ageing people.

Bright lights such as LED lighting and fluorescent lighting are a good choice for residential aged care facilities. Large windows are also a must. Your lights should be carefully placed in rooms, hallways, and even along walls to ensure optimal lighting in every space.

Optimal lighting assists with falls prevention, as it eliminates illusions of differences in space and depth that can be created when poor lighting is used.


Colour may seem like an odd consideration when adapting your design for an ageing population, but it’s actually very important. Psychologists have found that different colours affect people’s moods, so it pays to select the right colours to set the right “tone” in your aged care facility.

In bedrooms and hallways, soft greens, blues, and even pinks can help to create a calming atmosphere. In communal areas, you may want to add splashes of brighter colour such as red, yellow, or orange, as these can be stimulating and invigorating. Don’t go overboard with brighter colours, however, too much bright colour can be overstimulating and induce anxiety, stress, and even anger. Save brighter colours for specific features or furniture, rather than entire walls.

Contact Premis Today

At Premis Solutions, we’ve helped a number of aged care providers refurbish their facilities to better meet the needs of residents and staff alike.

If you’re considering refurbishing your aged care facility, we can help.

Contact us today to discuss your plans and ideas for your upcoming project.


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