Supporting the elderly care community
As advances in healthcare help people age better and live longer, elderly care facilities are coming to play an ever more important role. Offering the best care possible means attending to emotional requirements as much as physical ones, and doing so within often tight time and budget constraints. It is a team effort, from those who design, build and manage the care facilities to the staff and family who care for and support the elderly directly.
Because the choice of designs and materials make a big difference to the living environment, we're here to offer the benefit of our experience, our expertise and our research, to offer our support to the professionals who care for the elderly.
Designing with empathy
Designing a care home is an involved process that requires a real understanding of how the elderly experience their environment and how their experience differs from other people's.
That's why we partnered with the creators of VR-EP, a virtual reality tool endorsed by the leading experts in dementia-friendly design. VR-EP, or Virtual Reality-Empathy Platform, is designed to help professionals understand how declining eyesight and cognitive awareness impact perception of colour, contrast, and materials, by showing them the world as it would be perceived with various age-related conditions.
Supportive environment design for elderly care and dementia
Understanding the challenges that come with ageing, both with and without dementia, is essential to designing, building and managing aged care homes where the residents feel safe and at ease. We carried out in-depth field research to find out what the elderly need most from their daily environment, and which design choices improve their quality of life most directly.
Tarkett, designing elderly care environments for better ageing
Our aim is to support those who design and manage elderly care facilities, to ensure the well-being of all involved.
This means helping residents feel comfortable and at home, preserving their autonomy and independence and limiting factors that can lead to anxiety or confusion.
It also means helping carers do their jobs more easily and effectively, and helping facility owners and managers keep a handle on their budgets so their facilities can continue to offer the best service possible.
Through in-depth field research, interviews with the senior care community, and years of expertise in flooring solutions we have developed clear recommendations on what the right choice of flooring in care homes can contribute to residents' well-being.
Account for age-related change
Facilitating visual perception
As people grow older, their vision becomes less acute: colour and contrast are reduced, as is field of view. These effects can be limiting unless the environment is specifically tailored to compensate for them. A well-conceived and designed interior can go a long way toward lessening the impact of these inevitable changes.
It is important that indoor spaces are designed to encourage mobility. Mobility helps maintain motor skills, cardiovascular fitness, and cognitive performance. This is good for independence, a critical factor in self-esteem and well-being for the elderly.
- The right flooring material makes getting around easier and safer, including for canes, walkers and wheelchairs. The right colour and contrast combinations on surfaces will improve spatial perception and facilitate orientation. This helps residents preserve autonomy, and also helps prevent falls which may result from anxiety and disorientation.
Create a safe, comfortable environment for residents and staff
Ensuring resident comfort
Moving into a retirement home is unsettling. The loss of a familiar environment is always difficult and can come with a downturn in health, which will be demoralising for some residents. To acclimatise, new residents need to feel reassured in their surroundings, so it is essential that the care facility feels like a home and includes recognisable objects from their past.
Improving care staff's work environment
Work in a care home is very demanding, both physically and mentally. A safer working environment, designed to facilitate everyday tasks, helps reduce stress and fatigue, and can also free up personnel so they can spend more quality time with residents.
- The right choice of flooring can contribute to preserving residents' autonomy, facilitating wheelchairs and other assisted movement. Easier to clean and maintain, they lighten the workload for the staff. Impact- and noise-absorbent surfaces make for a more comfortable and relaxing environment for working or living.
Choose quality materials for residents’ health and for more sustainable buildings
Ensuring good indoor air quality
Air pollution can be worse indoors than it is outdoors, and poor indoor air quality can have very serious repercussions for the elderly, who tend to spend more time inside than the rest of the population. Ensuring good indoor air quality and preventing chronic diseases is a challenge for care homes, so it is important to select the right materials, choosing flooring with low VOC-emissions for example.
Choosing environmentally friendly materials
Quality materials that respect the environment and can be easily recycled at the end of their life make a positive impact on people and the planet. Adopting a life cycle approach to the construction is key to reducing environmental impact of a care home while also contributing to the well being of its occupants.
- We help you to create healthier, safer, more people friendly indoor spaces by designing high quality, sustainable products. Today, all our vinyl products manufactured in EMEA are 100% phthalate-free. We have also decided to stop using biocides in our products, this means that we’re not contributing to bacterial resistance. Also we strive to continuously improve the health and environmental credentials of our products, making use of materials that can be recovered, recycled and repurposed.
Manage costs by making the right choices
High levels of traffic are normal in an elderly care facility: wheelchairs, trolleys, wheeled equipment... This inevitably means bumps, spills, and general wear and tear. As maintenance plays a major role in the cost of ownership for flooring, choosing the right floor may help keep maintenance costs down.
Consider cleaning costs
Cleaning is also an important part of life cycle costs; choosing easy and quick to clean surfaces helps keep spaces hygienic at all times. It also reduces the work required and helps keep down associated costs such as cleaning products.
- Good design isn’t necessarily costly. We offer easy-to-clean flooring solutions for a hygienic, well-maintained care home that conveys a positive feeling. Thinking long term, opt for either robust flooring that will last longer, spacing out renovations, or an easy-to-change solution so you can replace flooring more frequently if necessary, to personalise residents' rooms for example.