Creating healthcare spaces for older patients requires designers to see color in a different way. The latest trends are less important than a healing environment with colors that will stand the test of time.
“Most facilities don’t renovate very often. They’re looking for solutions that will last ten or fifteen years,” says Jennifer Paist, an interior designer at Horty Elving in Minneapolis, Minn. The firm specializes in designing for both senior living and healthcare facilities. Paist says the latest trends are a moving target that most healthcare facilities can’t afford to aim for.
Instead, the physical, psychological and emotional responses of the elderly become paramount when designing for acute care, short-term care and long-term care facilities. Patients at any age can feel vulnerable in a healthcare setting; aging patients or those with dementia are particularly fragile. Décor and color choices can help create a comforting, nonthreatening environment that contributes to the healing process and helps compensate for physical and cognitive losses.
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