Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 29

COMMUNITY

A tale of two settings

While both residential and hospitality models have long histories in senior living, they vary in
scale, design characteristics, and the residents best supported within them By Robert C. Pfauth

COURTESY OF ERDMAN

F

ollowing the advent of Medicare and
Medicaid in the 1960s, the medicalmodel nursing home became the
default custodial setting for older adults unable to live independently, often regardless
of medical necessity. In response to pent-up
demand for an alternative to the institutional
setting, assisted living (AL) was launched
as a new housing type in the early 1980s.
The desire for a less regimented and more
relaxed environment for the delivery of personal care services spawned a nationwide
movement that continues today and is based
on two distinct models.
The first is inspired by what individuals are
already accustomed to in their homes, including scale and amenities, while the other is
influenced by the service-oriented nature and
high-end aesthetics of the hospitality sector.
Here, we look at the transformation of
these solutions over time, the characteristics

Ample natural light, upscale finishes, and an open and inviting coffee shop combine to animate the central lobby
space of this hospitality-inspired independent and assisted living community.
that define each of them, and how owners
and their design teams can determine which
will best serve resident needs and desires.

The evolution of home
One early manifestation of the AL model
was the emergence of smaller, more
autonomous organizational units, dubbed
pods or clusters, which were often grouped
into neighborhoods with centralized support
services such as kitchen and laundry. This
solution first emerged for memory care
residents, better supporting those who may
be prone to agitation or respond negatively to a more institutional environment.
Traditional double-loaded corridors were
broken down into smaller groupings that
opened onto a shared common space, such

as a living or dining room. A typical setting
included 12 to 24 residents in a pod, with
two or more pods in each neighborhood,
and common spaces either centralized or
dispersed. Amenity spaces were usually
shared and often had a generic design to
serve multiple purposes, such as dining
and activities.
Serving the lower end of the acuity spectrum was a senior housing typology known
as congregate care, which was prevalent
during the 1980s and '90s and offered
communal dining facilities as well as other
shared amenity spaces. At the same time,
vestiges of the residential models that had
preceded the introduction of Medicare
and Medicaid, known as boarding homes
or rest homes, still existed. These models
Spring 2018 * EFAmagazine.com

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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Spring 2018

Environments for Aging - Spring 2018
Contents
EFAmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Bulletin
Photo Tour
Community
Higher calling
Welcome
2018 jury/award winners and finalists
Style and substance
Life well lived
Leading the way
Making the cut
Pushing boundaries
Project directory
EFA Design Showcase
The Spark
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Environments for Aging - Spring 2018
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Contents
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Editorial
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Show Talk
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Bulletin
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Photo Tour
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Community
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Higher calling
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Welcome
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 2018 jury/award winners and finalists
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Style and substance
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Life well lived
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Leading the way
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Making the cut
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 53
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Pushing boundaries
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - 55
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Project directory
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - EFA Design Showcase
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Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - The Spark
Environments for Aging - Spring 2018 - Cover3
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