With the population of America rising exponentially, the need for adequately planned and built long-term care facilities becomes more pertinent, and this makes investing in a nursing home a solid investment.
Nursing homes have proven to be a big business, and as such, there is a lot of competition to get in on the action. According to industry reports, business owners can anticipate annual returns of 10% or more as long as they take the necessary steps to appropriately start a nursing home.
Steps to Design a Nursing Home
To ensure you attain long and sustained success, you will need to come up with a strategic plan right from the very beginning. If you are looking to design and build a viable nursing home in the United States, below are steps to take;
1. Research and Regulations
Ensure you fully understand federal, state, and local regulations especially those that have to do with nursing home design. Take your time to find out all you can regarding industry standards, guidelines, as well as best practices.
2. Site Selection
Once you are done with the research and feasibility studies, it is now time to shift your attention toward choosing the ideal site for your nursing home.
Keep in mind that the best location for your nursing home will be one with the right accessibility to healthcare facilities, amenities, and public transportation. Ensure to properly evaluate the topography, climate, as well as relevant local zoning regulations.
3. Programming and Needs Assessment
You need to work with experienced healthcare professionals to properly understand the basic needs and services required.
Ensure to have a comprehensive insight into the appropriate number of beds, types of care, common spaces, and support areas.
4. Conceptual Design
This is the point where you then have to come up with a preliminary design concept that takes into extensive consideration the site constraints and programming requirements. You should strive to develop a resident-centered environment that works to enhance and boost the well-being of residents.
5. Architectural Design
It is highly recommended you leverage the expertise of architects to ensure you come up with well-detailed floor plans, elevations, and sections. In all you do, ensure that your plan and layout align with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) for accessibility.
6. Interior Design
Do not skip on the interior design of your nursing home because it says a lot about your establishment and the service you offer.
As such, you will want to design your interior spaces for comfort, functionality, and safety. Ensure to only go for the right furniture, lighting, and finishes to guarantee a homely ambiance.
7. Landscaping and Outdoor Spaces
It is advised that you design outdoor areas that buttress relaxation and physical activity. Don’t forget to take into consideration the safety and accessibility of residents who have mobility challenges.
8. Safety and Security
In this line of business, security is an utmost priority, considering the condition and fragility of the residents the home has to cater to.
As such, be sure to put in place comprehensive safety measures such as fire safety and emergency evacuation plans. You also need to install security systems to protect residents and staff.
9. Regulatory Approvals
You have to understand that there are rules covering and regulating nursing homes in the United States. Most often, you will be expected to send in your design plans for regulatory approval and to guarantee that it is a full compliance with all requisite permits. Also, be sure to positively evaluate any feedback or concerns that come up during the approval process.
10. Construction Documentation
Develop detailed construction drawings and specifications. Be sure to clarify your design intent to contractors and builders.
Aside from that, you will want to follow up all through the construction process to guarantee compliance with the approved design.
Tips for Floor Plan, Room Layout and Dimensions
Truth be told, it takes meticulous planning to guarantee you design and build a nursing home that is functional, comfortable, and aligns with the varying needs of residents and staff. Howbeit, to point you in the right direction, below are tips to consider;
You must take into extensive consideration your residents’ comfort, safety, and accessibility when designing your floor plan, layout, and dimensions.
- Room Arrangement: It is most often recommended nursing homes arrange and group resident rooms in clusters or neighborhoods to cultivate a sense of community. You will also want to guarantee easy accessibility to common areas, dining facilities, as well as healthcare services.
- Clear Circulation Paths: Make sure to design and create wide hallways and corridors that can easily fit wheelchairs, walkers, as well as other mobility aids. Be sure to design unobstructed pathways for ease of passage.
- Centralized Amenities: It is also recommended you place essential amenities like dining areas, therapy rooms, or even activity spaces centrally to ensure that residents from different areas of the nursing home can access them easily.
Functional Room Dimensions
Note that every room within a nursing home is meant to serve a precise purpose. As such, you will want to guarantee enough space allocation and dimensions for various rooms.
- Resident Rooms: Ensure to design spacious individual rooms that have enough natural light and airflow. You will want a minimum room size that can accommodate the needed furniture, including a bed, storage, as well as space for personal belongings.
- Bathrooms: Create bathrooms with massive space to ensure easy maneuverability and accessibility, and make sure you put in place grab bars coupled with other safety features. Also, make sure that your bathrooms align with ADA standards for accessibility.
- Common Areas: You need to make good arrangements for common areas such as dining rooms, activity rooms, and Lounges.
You will want these places to possess adequate space to fit in many residents comfortably. Make available seating areas, tables, as well as amenities depending on the anticipated usage.
Safety and Accessibility
Just as was noted above, security is an utmost priority given the condition and fragility of the residents the home has to cater to.
- Emergency Exits: Design very clear pathways to emergency exits with easy-to-read signage. Guarantee compliance with fire safety regulations while also making sure your nursing home has numerous accessible exits.
- ADA Compliance: Ensure that all your rooms and spaces adhere completely to ADA guidelines especially since it guarantees accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Take into account other components like ramps, handrails, and larger doorways to fit in wheelchairs and walkers.
- Fall Prevention: Limit fall risks by putting in place slip-resistant flooring, and well-lit pathways, coupled with handrails in corridors and bathrooms.
Flexibility and Adaptability
Keep in mind that it is very important to design the floor plan with flexibility to be able to cope with altering needs and evolving healthcare practices.
- Adaptable Spaces: Make sure you put in place multi-functional spaces that are very easy to reconfigure especially when you want to expand or align with changing needs, such as converting activity rooms into a space for therapy or communal areas.
- Modularity: It is recommended you look towards modular furniture and design elements that make it very convenient for rearrangement or expansion of rooms depending on future requirements.
Staff Efficiency and Support Areas
It is also very important you take your time to plan staff workspaces and support areas to ensure that they will guarantee efficiency and their ability to provide top-class care and services to residents.
- Nurse Stations: Carefully design and place nurse stations to guarantee visibility and accessibility to resident areas. You will want ample space for documentation, communication, as well as monitoring equipment.
- Support Areas: Don’t forget or neglect the need for functional support spaces like storage rooms, laundry facilities, as well as staff break areas. You will want these areas to be conveniently located without negatively impacting resident activities.
Factors to Consider When Designing a Nursing Home
There are numerous things you will want to take into account when designing a nursing home in the United States. Although the most pertinent ones will vary depending on your location and the size of your home, below are some of the most important factors to take into extensive consideration;
Regulatory Compliance and Guidelines
One of the very first things you have to keep in mind is the importance of complying with federal, state, and local regulations.
Fully comprehending and implementing guidelines stipulated by agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guarantees full conformance with health and safety standards.
You will want to properly evaluate things like building codes, fire safety regulations, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, as well as relevant zoning laws to ensure your design and build the right nursing home.
Just as was noted above, this is one of the most important things when you are looking to design a viable nursing home in this modern age.
You need to understand that a resident-centric approach involves designing spaces that guarantee comfort, independence, as well as a sense of community. Extensively consider the best layout for the rooms, common areas, as well as amenities that boost residents’ quality of life.
Keep in mind that these comfortable living spaces, easy-to-access pathways, coupled with interesting communal areas all work to create a sense of belonging as well as social interaction among residents.
Functional Layout and Space Planning
Note that the right space planning is very important especially when it comes to guaranteeing functionality within the nursing home.
Put out clear and accessible pathways, rooms with ample space, as well as strategically locating common areas, dining facilities, and therapy rooms, coupled with administrative offices that further boost workflow efficiency as well as resident accessibility.
Flexibility when it comes to room use, modular designs, in addition to adaptable spaces are known to be trends that are gradually taking up the industry.
Safety and Accessibility
Don’t underestimate the importance of the right safety features all through the facility. You will want to put in place measures to prevent falls, guaranteeing emergency exits, installing adequate lighting, and installing slip-resistant flooring to limit the possibility of residents falling.
You will also want to put in place accessibility features such as ramps, wider doorways, and handrails to make movement easy for residents who live with mobility challenges, complying fully with ADA standards and guaranteeing inclusivity.
Integration of Technology
You will want to inculcate technology into the design to further bolster healthcare management, and communication, in addition to security within the nursing home.
You will want to take into consideration the integration of electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine capabilities, surveillance systems, as well as smart technology to monitor and boost resident care while guaranteeing data privacy and security.
Staff Support and Work Environment
Don’t neglect your staff and the work they do when designing your nursing home. You will want the space you have designed to adequately support staff especially when it comes to providing efficient care.
Make sure to put in place properly fitted nurse stations, functional support areas, as well as staff break rooms. Make sure that these spaces are well located and appropriately designed to guarantee a positive work environment for staff.