Nursing home design: It could be deadly

An older woman in a red jacket uses a cane to walk with a younger woman along a pathway.Nursing homes, not to be confused with retirement villages, are under the spotlight, and rightly so. Their design is showing how infection is almost impossible to control. With two or four people in a room and dated systems it’s time to re-think design. A FastCo article has some advice from experts.

An obvious start is for residents to have their own room within a cluster that has its own living and dining room. This is so any infection outbreak can be contained in the cluster. Private rooms also allow more flexibility for family visits. 

In Oslo, a cluster of cottages allows care and socialisation in the form of an outdoor retreat. Also suited to enabling family visits. The article also discusses removing unhealthy building materials such as glues and paints that generate gases. 

Progressive thinking about nursing homes and aged care is leaning towards housing that mixes all ages including children. While this doesn’t address infection control, it does build in socialisation opportunities. Perhaps this pandemic is a chance to stop and think outside the box.

The title of the article is, Nursing home design is deadly. Here’s how to change it.