In Australia and other developed countries, people are increasingly living longer lives. As such, enhancing quality of life is now a key focus for aged care facilities. And one of the most important factors in quality of life is mobility.
To promote mobility in your aged care facility, it’s important that builders and designers consider both encouragement and facilitation. Encouraging mobility involves incorporating design elements that will help residents desire to be mobile, while facilitating mobility is about helping residents be mobile.
One modern approach to encouraging mobility in an aged care centre is to co-locate your facility with amenities such as bowling greens or golf courses. This encourages residents to participate in active activities, with added incentive provided by the opportunity to mingle with people from outside the facility. Along a similar line, incorporating enticing gardens and other attractive outdoor and semi-outdoor areas into your aged care design is another way to encourage residents to spend time walking and moving outside.
Aged care residents often rely on wheelchairs and/or walkers to get around, so it’s important that your aged care centre is designed with wider hallways and outdoor pathways to facilitate with this. Slopes should be avoided where possible, and you should also incorporate benches and other places where residents can rest as they go along. Railings and walking aids are a way to create mobility-friendly areas and are also a required safety standard in Australia for aged care facilities.
Mobile older people are among those most likely to be injured by a fall, so it’s also important to ensure that your facility design limits the risk of environmental hazards that can cause falls. Common hazards that cause falls include poor lighting, wet or slippery floors, and obstructed or cluttered pathways. Your design should consider all these risks and be developed to minimise them.
Premis Solutions has years of experience partnering with clients to promote good design for aged care facilities. We also have experience with many refurbishment projects that encourage and facilitate mobility for their residents.
Contact us today on 1300 773 647 to discuss how we can help you refurbish an aged care facility to promote mobility.