10 Things To Consider Before Building A Nursing Home

Jamie Jacobs
Jamie Jacobs joined APX Construction Group in June of 2020 specializing in interior design, marketing, event planning, and business development.
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  • Owning a business of any kind comes with its challenges— especially when you build it from the ground up. But building a nursing home (or any senior living community for that matter) has even more considerations because you’re dealing with other people’s quality of life.

    Before you break ground on a new nursing home in your community, carefully read these ten considerations to ensure a successful project.

    1) Choose a Location Connected to the Community 📍

    “Location, location, location” is always the #1 consideration in real estate. And when it comes to a senior living community, it’s no different. It’s important to keep in mind that nursing home residents are leaving their homes to receive care in a new place. This can be a stressful transition for many people.

    Try to create a campus that is connected to the community at large, as well as promotes interaction with other residents and caretakers. This can help to ease the transition and make residents feel more comfortable.

    2) Incorporate Green Space Into the Design 🌳

    building a nursing home green

    Many people equate nursing homes with sterile, hospital-like environments. But this shouldn’t be the case! One way to combat this negative perception is to incorporate green space into the design of your nursing home campus.

    Green space has been shown to have a plethora of benefits for seniors, including:

    • Reducing stress
    • Improving mental well-being
    • Providing opportunities for socialization
    • Promoting physical activity

    All of these things are crucial for nursing home residents!

    3) Meet the Standard Codes and Guidelines 📃

    There are many standards, guidelines, and codes that are required for building senior living facilities. Make sure you are aware of all of the requirements before starting construction.

    Follow all requirements set by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Another great resource is the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) “Guidelines for the Design and Construction of Residential Health, Care, and Support Facilities.” This resource gets published every four years and provides direction for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

    Additionally, follow the International Building Code (IBC) for building inspections and NFPA 101 for fire safety guidelines.

    4) Work With a Reputable Design-Build Firm 🤝

    When it comes to building a nursing home, you want to make sure you are working with experienced professionals who have a good understanding of the challenges that come along with this type of project.

    If you want to get the best value for your time, money, and your residents’ lives, your main consideration should be to choose a highly-rated and communicative construction company that has experience building nursing homes.

    Along the same lines, you may want to consider using a design-build construction firm. This way, you’ll get construction and design all under one roof instead of working with architects and general contractors.

    5) Don’t Neglect Amenities 🖼️

    Senior living communities of any kind deserve to be just as exciting and accommodating as any other place. Residents want to continue their lives past retirement. Amenities can make or break other places like apartment buildings, office parks, and educational campuses, so they can also make or break a nursing home.

    Be sure to make room for amenities like:

    • Beauty/barber shops
    • Fitness centers
    • Game/entertainment rooms
    • Libraries
    • On-site restaurants
    • Spas/pools
    • Movie theaters
    • Art galleries
    • Outdoor spaces

    But keep in mind that you don’t want the building design to come across as a hotel. Try to strike a balance between luxury items and “homey” and functional design.

    6) Build to Accommodate Future Growth 🏗️

    Be sure to have a plan in place so you can expand your senior living community in the future if you so desire. Carefully plan the wiring, piping, and other utilities in the facility so you can add or remove walls in the future. Your structure should also be able to accommodate more weight as your building expands.

    7) “Home” Comes First 🏡

    The transition that comes with moving into a senior living facility can be quite jarring. In order to accommodate future residents, focus your attention on offering homelike qualities.

    Offering custom design choices for each resident can go a long way, such as choices of furniture, artwork, and colors.

    Another great offering to help residents feel more at home is a community garden. Planting and caring for flowers and produce can help people connect to an activity that makes them feel at home.

    8) Incorporate Natural Light ☀️

    building a nursing home light

    Make sure that each resident has access to natural light and views. Studies have shown that incorporating natural light and views can help:

    • Improve sleeping patterns
    • Lower blood pressure
    • Reduce stress
    • Increase energy levels

    Large and plentiful windows should be a priority in your building design. If possible, try to provide each resident with a view of the outdoors and use natural light over artificial light whenever possible.

    9) Prioritize Safety and Security 🔐

    When it comes to nursing homes, safety and security should be a top priority. Incorporate features like:

    • Emergency call buttons in every room
    • Security cameras
    • Secure entrances/exits
    • Fire sprinklers
    • Well-lit hallways and stairwells

    In order to ensure that your nursing home is as safe as possible, you should also consult with local law enforcement to get their input on the best safety features for your facility.

    10) Keep It Green ♻️

    As people are becoming more and more environmentally conscious, it’s important to consider ways to make your nursing home eco-friendly. Incorporate features like:

    • Solar panels
    • Recycling bins
    • Low-flow toilets and showerheads
    • Energy-efficient lighting
    • Geothermal heating and cooling

    Not only is it important to consider the environment, but going green can also save you money in the long run. These features may cost more upfront, but they’ll save you money on your utility bills in the future.

    Work With a Construction Partner That Sets You Up for Success

    Building a nursing home is a big undertaking, but if you keep these things in mind, it can help make the process a little bit easier. By working with experienced professionals and incorporating features that accommodate both the needs of the residents and the environment, you can build a community that enriches the lives of your residents.

    Choosing a design-build partner can make all the difference in your end result. The skilled professionals at APX Construction Group can make your vision a reality— especially with all the prior experience we have.

    Reach out today to tell us about your senior living project!

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