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Bringing the Comfort of Nature into Assisted Living Facilities

Bringing the Comfort of Nature into Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities are home to people who cannot live independently. Predominantly consisting of frail older persons and people with chronic disabilities, these care centers are where residents spend most of their time.

It’s for this reason that the look and feel of the facilities is so important to get right. One of the ways to do this is by adding more natural features to the premises and bringing the benefits of extra greenery to the residents’ surroundings.

The mental and emotional wellbeing of the residents is every bit as important as their physical health. Numerous studies have supported the connection between the addition of more greenery and improved mental stability, physical recovery, and longevity.

The impact of nature on well-being

A study conducted in the UK and published by the BMJ (previously known as the British Medical Journal) found that “a high exposure to natural environments (green space and gardens) in communities was associated with fewer mental disorders among older people.” [source]

These findings match what renowned environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich discovered decades ago about how views of greenery in medical facilities can reduce patient stress and improve the outcome of health procedures. This led to many hospitals and care homes, worldwide, investing more in green spaces.

In a separate study of 68 assisted-living facilities across the US, professor Susan Rodiek discovered that “increasing resident satisfaction with outdoor areas results in residents spending more time outdoors and improved psychological well-being”. [source]

The comfort and beauty of nature increases participation in activities, among the disabled and elderly. The presence of greenery improves cognitive function and mental wellbeing which naturally leads to improved social interaction and community engagement. All of which are so important for people with disabilities and infirmities.

Interestingly, Rodiek’s study also found that happier assisted-living residents are more likely to actively recruit their friends and family, which in turn “leads to an estimated 4% increase in new residents, resulting in over $170,000 of increased revenue per year for a community of 100 residents”.

Adding more greenery to an assisted living facility
So what are some of the ways you can increase the amount of greenery in an assisted-living facility?

More soil beds
Dig up non-essential concreated areas and turn them into soil beds for trees, shrubs, and flowers. Planting a mixture of deciduous and evergreen plants will provide an all year-round display of greenery and color.

More planting space also provides ground for residents to engage in gardening activities, which can also boost mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.

Elevated Gardens
With an elevated garden, seniors are given the opportunity to engage with nature without the strain on the body. Elevated flower or vegetable gardens can be maintained from a standing or seated position.

More pots and planters
Adding more vases, pots, and planters to both interior and exterior spaces will beautify an assisted living residence. The flower and foliage containers can add decorative features in themselves when intelligently combined with the surroundings.

Greenery-covered trellis screens
Trellis systems allow you to grow greenery in just about any area. Wire-mesh trellising provides a sturdy framework on which climbing plants can thrive. Our trellis screen products, for example, can stand alone or be affixed to matching planters.

Most properties, whether residential or commercial, and especially with a communal setup, have areas which require screening and privacy. Greenery-covered trellis screens provide excellent solutions for these requirements.

Whether it’s hiding technical equipment (such as HVAC units) or laundry facilities, blocking out a nearby eyesore, or providing a small tranquil area in a larger space, trellises add both functional and decorative qualities.

Wall trellises can also hide unsightly wall surfaces while at the same time increasing the amount of greenery. They provide a more natural and attractive alternative to simply painting the wall.

Bring more greenery into your facility with our planters and trellises
Bringing the comforting and healing properties of the natural world into an assisted living facility can dramatically improve the wellbeing of residents.

From communal walkways and gardens to reception area walls and bedroom balconies, our planters and wish-mesh trellis screens can be customized to fit any interior or exterior care environment.

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