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Moveable Walls and Senior Living Residences

 

One of the vertical markets most negatively affected by the Pandemic is Senior Living Communities. In excess of 1 million American and Canadians reside in 35,000 assisted living communities. They employ nearly 500,000 people who provide comfort, shelter and community to those most vulnerable. Statistically 8 out of 10 virus related deaths since March have been adults 65 or older with more than half of senior community living residents being 85 or older.

Unlike other markets, senior residences must continue to operate so rather than close or cut back as others may do they must adapt and carry on during the pandemic. Keeping the residents healthy especially when they all continue to be eager to socialize is challenging. Lifestyle of residents is primarily supported through the interior design of space in order to provide living accommodations, food preparation and eating, recreational activities. Interior design now has to be rethought and adapted to ensure residents and staff comfort and safety as well as provide as best as possible the necessary social interactions.

Every facility is different so it is difficult to suggest specific ways that moveable walls can be applied and assist in accomplishing this task. Moderco and its distributor/partners are capable of identifying areas of concern and recommending solutions on a case by case basis. Some areas that should be discussed in terms of internal space division using moveable walls are:

  • Review  existing residences and identify areas that could be easily divided by the use of moveable walls. Consideration has to be given as to how the moveable walls will be supported so a review of the building construction and where support steel is available will be a major determinant. We would be happy to review this need.
  • Consider the number and needs of residents who have memory or cognitive limitations and depend on familiarity but also need separation from the general population. The use of easily relocatable Vision glass wall systems that one can see through and also provide “openness” is a perfect solution.
  • Residents having visitors is an important part of their lives and well-being. Ways must be found to allow visitations but at the same time keep all safe by means of physical separation. You would be able to “create” meeting areas as needed by using moveable walls and when over relocate the panels thus restoring a more open space.
  • Allow residents to have meaningful group activities but also minimize physical contact & maintain social distancing. Occupancy limitations on created areas will have to be determined and enforced.
  • Dining and eating areas create a major problem. A safe dining environment is critical not only for the residents but also for kitchen and serving personnel. Placement of tables perhaps based on apartment locations and divided from each other is a possibility. Dining areas may have to be retro-fitted to increase spacing especially since diners will not be able to wear masks while eating.
  • Minimize a “closed in” feeling and as best as possible allow light and the outside to remain part of the experience. Glass moveable walls are perfect for both separation and continuing visual interaction.

As acoustics are not typically an issue in senior residents we recommend Moderco Vision non acoustic glass wall systems. Clean visual lines. Easily moved. Minimum storage space required. Light so miminium changes to support structure. Economical.

If you are designing a new or retro-fitting an existing Senior Resident please call Moderco at 1.800.363.3150 so that we can discuss and share our almost 40 years of experience.