As medical advancements allow for longer lifespans, retirement homes have become an essential business for society. We want our parents or grandparents or any loved ones to be happy and well taken care of. If you are considering creating a retirement home that invites this vision—contentment, relaxation, and quality care—the following are some noteworthy aspects of retirement homes you won’t want to overlook!
Choose a Place with Nice Weather
Location is a huge draw for anyone looking for a living place. People of retirement age tend to have a lower tolerance for extreme climates; therefore, choosing a place with nice weather and temperate, consistent climates should be a priority in your first steps for determining good locations. Often, retirement homes are built in sunny and warm areas like California, Florida and Hawaii. This invites a healthy amount of vitamin D and improves general mood. Darker, rainier places prove to be detrimental for those with mental health issues like depression.
Stay Close to Family
As the owner of a residential business, your life will largely be taken up by running the place like you run a home. Pick a location that is close to family! This is such an important element of emotional motivation. Furthermore, making family a priority in your life will carry over into your business! Your residents will feel the familial aspects of your business, and your ability to empathize with them. Families and couples that come to tour can trust a place that feels comfortable, safe, and caring, as though in a true family setting. For your sake and the sake of those you are helping, keep your own family close!
Include Accessible Features
Of course, accessibility is a major, defining element of retirement homes that sets them apart from any regular apartment complex or service. Your goal is to provide a space where people of all circumstances can feel welcomed, able and included; if a resident is injured or becomes handicapped in any way, make sure you provide means of accessibility! Handrails in hallways and bathrooms are a good start, but consider the very basic things that may become difficult for someone who has difficulty getting around—walking through doors, for example, suddenly requires a lot more time and energy. Elevators, automatic doors, and emergency phones placed regularly throughout the building and in residential rooms allow for a feeling of security and confidence that their physical limitations will not limit their living space.
Set Up a Relaxing Patio
Allow your residents to take advantage of the weather you made a point to include as part of the home’s promised comfort! Create a patio space where guests can relax. Plenty of comfortable sitting areas, quiet ambiance, pleasing and colorful aesthetic design. Make sure that any furniture you place outdoors is meant to be outdoors. Wood warps quickly when exposed to rain and even long periods of sun, so you should keep any wood furniture out of sunlight to prevent damage. Place your furniture in places that will ensure they last a long time! Those kinds of replacements can be pricey, so invest in quality things that maintain their functionality and visual appeal for as long as possible!
Offer Engaging Activities
Create a sense of community by offering engaging activities that invite neighborly involvement. Games, movie showings, sporting events, friendly competition, or unique classes all draw people in for the event itself and encourage communication or interaction between your residents. Put together a book club, gardening group, yoga class, invite guest lecturers, talent shows, anything that gets people out and excited and talking about their passions. Having positive relationships—friendships, even—within your retired community will make your business feel friendly and positive and help guests to feel a connection with those around them, and human connection is an important part of life!
Provide Means for Outside Recreation
Whatever events you can’t hold within your building, offer them access to outside of it! Museums, theaters for plays or movies, concerts, sports, etc… Work with the community around you to encourage your residents to take advantage of the fun or interesting businesses they are close to. (Working with these companies may also be a positive means of marketing or promotion for your own retirement business.) Give your residents easy transportation to and from local places. This fosters a feeling of freedom and support from you as a residential “landlord” of sorts, and provides engaging events or activities for them to look forward to, to schedule and plan and feel a part of.
Don’t Shortchange the Food
Quality food will go a long way to make your resident’s experience enjoyable. It is worth even a slight increase in monthly fees, if necessary to provide consistently good food that everyone enjoys. This place is literally their home! Food should be a source of comfort and enjoyment for individuals, couples, and friends. Consider working with a nutritionist to plan meals and create a menu that residents will not only enjoy, but look forward to. Give them options, as well, to mix up their day. Monotony can be helpful in some aspects for retirement facilities; security in daily routine is helpful for your residents, employees, and you. However, monotony can very quickly turn into boredom, disinterest, discontentment and eventually frustration. Using something as simple as the menu can do wonders for solving this potential problem.
Make it Feel Like Home
Most of all, make your retirement home feel like a “home”. This manifests in a number of ways: warm colors and décor, quality staff and care, a feeling of welcomeness and invitation to really get up, get out, and do things. Allow them to decorate or arrange their living space according to personal preferences. Give them the freedom to make decisions and feel independent, and they will consequently feel that they have made themselves a home.
Retirement homes are a wonderful and rewarding business. Create a space that you are proud of, that you know your residents will feel safe and comfortable and happy in, and enjoy the “reward” of providing these people with a quality lifestyle.
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