Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 11

SPECIAL
REPORT:
COVID-19

Designers should also consider
surfaces and materials that help limit
the spread of germs and bacteria. For
example, consider impervious countertop materials like solid surface or
manufactured quartz for kitchen and
bathroom counters; resilient sheet flooring that creates a sealed surface; or
decorative window valances instead of
long drapery panels that are more likely
to come into contact with a person and
collect bacteria.

4

Site design

Integrating outdoor spaces
that allow residents to
walk, sit, and visit with
family members while also allowing
social distancing between individuals will
be key to striking the balance between
emotional well-being and safety. To help
achieve this, outdoor resting areas can
be spaced apart to allow for both conversation and social distancing. Outdoor
paths can be designated as "one-way"
to reduce interaction with others, and
traffic flow can be reversed on specific
days for variety. Also, creating pull-offs at
regular intervals along walking paths can
help create separation without requiring
individuals to navigate uneven terrain like
turf, gravel, or mulch.
Although many aspects of how
we care for aging adults in the era of
coronavirus remain unclear, one thing
is certain: We must find a new way
forward when it comes to keeping
the most vulnerable members of our
population safe, including attention to
physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Design will play a vital role in how
we create spaces that serve to keep
seniors both safe and happy.-Jami
Mohlenkamp, principal and head of the
senior living practice area, OZ Architecture (Denver)

Balancing safety and experience in
skilled nursing
he COVID-19 crisis has prompted a convergence of interest in the current state
of skilled nursing communities and their preparedness vis-à-vis outbreaks. Operators are hard pressed to radically improve infection prevention and control (IPAC)
and response strategies. However, decisions made too quickly to manage fear and
placate public outcry can run the risk of reverting skilled nursing homes into costeffective hospitals. So how do we optimize performance without compromising the
integrity of the residential experience?
Re-envision community-Modest layout enhancements can vastly improve IPAC
and outbreak response in skilled nursing communities as well as day-to-day operations without altering the residential character of a home. For example, larger amenity
rooms will help support physical distancing and, when fitted with videoconferencing capabilities, allow healthy residents to safely participate in activities such as
concerts, religious services, or art classes. Wider, looping corridors and more open,
interconnected spaces will not only limit pinch points and crowding but improve overall circulation. Sitting bays, low sills, and judiciously placed windows throughout a
building will help reduce the psychological impacts of isolation by allowing residents
to be visually connected to the outside world.
Invest in resident rooms-Several simple investments in resident units can vastly
improve health and well-being in these spaces. For example, filter-equipped fan units,
fitted to a standard window frame, can be deployed as an emergency response during an outbreak to create "nearly" negative pressure bedrooms by managing the flow
of air and exhausting contaminated air to the outside. Additionally, emerging technologies like wearables, voice-command systems, motion detectors, weight sensors,
and videoconferencing devices can limit in-person visits without limiting residents'
contact with others.
Rethink readiness to respond-Going forward, new skilled nursing communities
must have in their arsenal the flexibility for simple, temporary retrofits that support rapid response to future pandemics. Entrance canopies designed to support
temporary canvas panels can become makeshift testing stations. Drop-off zones
can be configured to accommodate heated tents for individuals maintaining physical
distance while waiting to be screened during inclement weather, and lobby spaces
should be sufficiently sized to support additional storage capabilities for personal
protective equipment, screening desks, and portable partitions. Additional doors,
including a secondary entrance used only during outbreaks, can create two separate
circulation flows. Finally, nurses' stations can be designed to accept temporary glass
partitions to protect staff during interactions with others.
During this pandemic, outbreaks in skilled nursing communities have and continue
to account for an undue share of deaths. Despite the urgency to act, design interventions that improve IPAC and outbreak response cannot be made at the expense
of the residential experience. A home that performs in the best of times and the
worst of times is not only possible, but an imperative, and strategies must be considered accordingly.-Santiago Kunzle, director and principal, Montgomery Sisam
Architects (Toronto)

Summer 2020 * EFAmagazine.com

11


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Environments for Aging - Summer 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Environments for Aging - Summer 2020

Environments for Aging - Summer 2020
Contents
EFAmagazine.com
Editorial
Show Talk
Bulletin
Photo Tour
Connecting point
In the spotlight
Guiding lights
Company Listing
Category Index
Category Listing
The Spark
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Environments for Aging - Summer 2020
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Cover2
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 1
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Contents
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 3
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - EFAmagazine.com
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 5
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 6
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Editorial
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Show Talk
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 9
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Bulletin
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 11
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 12
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 13
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Photo Tour
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 15
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 16
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 17
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Connecting point
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 19
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 20
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 21
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 22
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 23
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 24
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - In the spotlight
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 26
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 27
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 28
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 29
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Guiding lights
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 31
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 32
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 33
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 34
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 35
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 36
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 37
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Company Listing
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 39
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 40
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Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 49
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 50
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 51
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 52
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Category Index
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 54
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - Category Listing
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 56
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 57
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 58
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 59
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 60
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 61
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Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - 63
Environments for Aging - Summer 2020 - The Spark
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