Celebration of Senior Living Design
LEXINGTON - J & R Construction Services, Inc.: “Celebration of Senior Living Design”
Interior designers include technology in their home designs. J & R President and CEO James W. “Jimmy” McKinney, III, says, “We have Professional Designers on staff to hand hold you through the entire process.” When our on-staff interior designers work with our senior clients, they always apprise them of the latest available technology solutions to offer an increased quality of life through convenience.
One example, is LED lighting. It is not only for energy savings, LED lighting promotes healthy sleep patterns and reduces anxiety. How? LED lighting aligns lamp color temperature with seniors’ circadian rhythms (sleep cycles).
While LED lighting can be used throughout seniors’ living and sleeping spaces, another area where state-of-the-art technology increases quality of life through convenience is in the kitchen. J & R’s on-staff Professional Designers share with our senior clients all the available options for less-restrictive cooking technologies. Some of these kitchen technology-driven options include hoodless cooking, dedicated sous vide appliances, and induction-top ranges. Incorporating these options in the kitchen better accommodates farm-to-table offerings, thus improving overall health through enhanced, healthy nutrition options.
Speaking of technology, our senior clients, most of whom are what we affectionately call “Tech-Savvy Seniors,” cannot overlook the importance of the accessibility and the availability of technology within their living spaces. These days, when family member come to visit, they often bring along their hand-held devices, and they expect to re-charge them and for them to function. Therefore, our Professional Designers include electrical outlets with charging ports and ethernet jacks (when Wi-Fi is otherwise unavailable). This seemingly simple design element ensures that technology is available in the living spaces and connects seniors and their families with other family, friends, and what’s happening in the world (e.g., news and social media, etc.).
Top international design and architecture firm Perkins Eastman, in its white paper, “A Handle on Accessibility: Designing for a Future of Limited Mobility,” co-authored by Associate Michael Schur AIA, LEED AP, and Joshua Bergman, both based in the firm’s Chicago office, identify both the need for and the scope of relevance of senior living design.
Perkins Eastman asserts that there is an accessibility challenge facing the U.S. That is, according to the most recent census data and studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 1 in 5 people will be aged 65 or older by 2040. “These statistics,” say Perkins Eastman, “suggest that in less than 25 years, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population will be faced with the physical limitations that come with aging: reduction of mobility and dexterity, visual and hearing impairment, bone and muscle weakness, and immune and memory deterioration.”
Although there are many senior living design elements that senior homeowners should consider, including LED lighting and kitchens outlined above, the good folks at Perkins Eastman focused on a single element: the door handle. Perkins Eastman designed (or should we say re-designed) a ubiquitous product that often gets overlooked, or otherwise tends to be designed with a form-before-function approach.
Just as Perkins Eastman embraced the opportunity to advance design through the re-working of this often-overlooked element of everyday life, we hope other firms follow suit in this laudable task of merging the sensibilities of accessibility and the functionality of ergonomics with real-world applications.
At the heart of the matter, according to Perkins Eastman, is “[s]imulating and critically analyzing user experiences challenged standard design processes to be more empathetic and user-focused, while leveraging emerging technologies to efficiently iterate and build complex forms generated a rich cyclical loop of analysis, study, and experimentation.”
We at J & R Construction agree with and applaud embracing this human-driven design process to question and enhance established guidelines and seek new solutions that put users’ needs first. Our on-staff Professional Designers at J & R Construction value designs that ultimately provide all of our clients, especially our senior clients, with an increased quality of life through convenience.
J & R Construction doesn’t just “talk the talk.” That is, whenever the opportunity presents itself, J & R Construction seizes the opportunity to “walk the talk.” Just today, the city of Lexington’s Aging and Disability Services Division hosted a new, free event on housing needs and home modifications for Fayette County residents of any age. The 3-hour event, titled “Home Reimagined,” was held at the Lexington Senior Center.
The event featured several booths with information on a range of housing information from several local groups and agencies including: the Lexington Planning Office, the UK College of Social Work, Age-Friendly Lexington, the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky, and local builders, remodelers and home suppliers. Yes, J & R Construction was pleased to attend, participate in this worthwhile community event.
Event participants had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with subject-matter experts and get their future housing questions answered, as well as discover new ideas for potential housing later in life. The question of the day to event participants was “What does your future home look like?”
We at J & R Construction genuinely want our clients to enjoy their houses ̶ barrier free ̶ for as long as they own their homes. For many (if not most) this includes seniors looking to enjoy their Golden Years in their own homes. That is why we remain committed to researching and sharing best practices with our clients via our website’s blog page. Please feel free to share this information from our blog with your family and friends, too. Thank You.